At OneVillage Partners, we are humbled to see how our model not only meets basic needs, but also unifies and empowers communities.
Recently we saw this empowerment taking place before our eyes in the village of Gbeka. Villagers there chose to focus their first project on reducing the spread of diarrheal illnesses among children. To do so, they are building child-friendly latrines and handwashing facilities.
During a community meeting, villagers were discussing how they would source their own timber. As part of our model, the community provides labor and a significant percentage of the materials for construction. This helps create ownership and sustainability. Massa (pictured right), a concerned citizen and local businesswoman, stood up. She said that OVP had proved to be a friend to their village, and that they, the Gbeka community, had to show OVP they were also ready to commit and sacrifice for this project. “We have to show that we don’t depend on them. We have to play our own role,” she said.
Massa then declared that she would make a personal donation to the project. Her actions inspired a ripple effect of generosity as many others started to volunteer their own tools and supplies to help with the work. The local group of loggers became swept up in the spirit of giving and said they were going to donate all of their own labor to complete the project.
This is what OVP is about, at our heart: Unleashing the potential of the human spirit for the communal good.