Effective community development - the kind that restores health, renews hope and inspires lasting transformation - requires integrated, sustainable solutions that address the root causes and unique circumstances in each community.
Click on the icons below to find out more about our programs and the role each plays this transformational work.
View our Impact map to see all the communities where LIA currently serves.
Social Engagement is the basis for breaking the poverty cycle. Nothing changes when nothing is changed. LIA works to equip and walk alongside communities as they identify the structural evil that perpetuates their circumstances. Furthermore, LIA encourages its local church partners to fully utilize their unique role in the community by advocating for its most vulnerable members.
- Mobilizing communities to represent and protect themselves from systems that oppress them
- Organizing communities for relevant leadership, accountability, ownership and feasible transformational development initiatives
- Giving voice and representation to the most marginalized citizens
- Conducting participatory needs assessments and joint planning with stakeholders
- Forming community-based cooperatives and support groups to initiate and expand transformational development initiatives
- Building the capacity of local government bodies to ensure effective service delivery and customer satisfaction
- Coordinating efforts with local government bodies to provide access to basic health, education and land issues
- Creating representative steering committees to ensure sustained impact after LIA has phased out
A Cleaner Future
A WASH program in Ethiopia brings promise of a healthier, more collaborative future for one community.
In Ethiopia, nearly 80% of people living in rural areas and 20% people living in urban areas do not have access to safe water. The majority of people have no understanding of the hazards of their lifestyle or knowledge of basic hygiene principles. Health problems associated with these shortages are evident throughout the country, especially in its capital, Addis Ababa.
Access to clean water and basic sanitation systems is an essential part for community development, poverty alleviation and an indispensable component of preventive health care. Practice proves that lives can be saved through better access to clean water, sanitation, improved basic hygiene facilities, and by simply implementing personal hygiene and sanitation practices.
In an effort to overcome such a complex problem in one Addis Ababa sub-city, LIA and its church partners began implementing a WASH (Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene) program aimed at not only meeting the community’s immediate need, but also helping to equip the community for long-term change.
Over the course of two years, LIA walked with four partner churches with the knowledge and resources needed to bring about lasting development in their communities, with a particular focus on access to water, sanitation practices and person hygiene.
Additionally, LIA provided training for 60 community transformation agents who now visit homes and provide preventative training about water supply, sanitation and personal hygiene. The goal: to empower the citizens with the knowledge they need to bring sustainable improvement in their homes and community. That training has manifested in training for nearly 10,750 households, and the local government has come alongside LIA church partners to work jointly with the volunteer hygiene promoters and expand the impact and sustainability of the overall program.
LIA church partners also hosted community envisioning and sensitization programs for more than 150 targeted community members to raise their level of awareness of environmental sanitation and personal hygiene practices.
Furthermore, LIA implemented a variety of sanitation and hygiene facilities throughout the community including 24 ventilated improved pit latrines, 15 public showers, 7 clothes washing basins, 19 public stand pipes, 4,082 meter small scale sewerage lines, and 71 solid waste collecting trolleys.
As part of the integrated approach, LIA built the capacity of the community by awarding six small-scale construction grants to local businesses to aid in construction of the WASH facilities. As an added component, LIA as provided specialized training to help community members establish and develop complementary businesses and begin generating incomes for their family. Those members are now enjoying an increased quality of life.
Through a community-established steering community, the usage by laws and cost for WASH facilities was set, as to ensure affordability for local members, while ensuring the facilities are sustainable well into the future. One steering committee member and head of the health office in the community, they have clearly observed behavioral changes and acceptance in the community, resulting in a cleaner and healthier environment all around.
LIA-led transformation development initiatives in South Sudan are helping citizens understand their new found freedom.
Despite earning its freedom as the world’s newest country in 2011, South Sudan is far from free. War torn after more than two decades of civil dispute, displaced refugees returning home and the struggle to establish infrastructure, the South Sudanese have little more than freedom to claim.
LIA was called to serve local churches in Rumbek, South Sudan in 2006. Relationships with the local church and civic leadership were developed, leaders were trained, and together, the community’s greatest needs were identified. In 2009, formal initiatives to address those needs began to unfold, beginning with the acquisition of a fledgling school with two teachers and 30 students enrolled.
True to LIA’s transformational development model, LIA and its church partners identified healthcare as another significant need for the community. In early 2010, a primary health clinic was established and saw more than 13,000 patients in its first year of operation.
At the same time, LIA secured farmland in the Rumbek area, where Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) experts began training local farmers on modern farming methodologies. The farmers, much like community health workers, were then commissioned to teach the newly acquired skills to others farmers. Additionally, various crops including sorghum, fruits and nuts were planted, and seeds were distributed for planting during the rainy season to enhance community food security.
Today, there are currently 300 boys and girls attending the primary school and enrolled in a supplemental nutrition program. Additionally, the clinic is expanding its services and is estimated to see 18,000-22,000 patients in 2012. The community is beginning to adopt the improved cultivation skills acquired through the farming training, and is in turn, yielding better crops for increased food security and income generation.
The development initiatives are having an impact on the greater community, as morbidity rates slowly decrease, economic ventures begin to spring up, public health awareness and overall capacity increase and the individuals are empowered.
Most telling of transformation is the organic multiplication of LIA-led initiatives into neighboring areas. In late 2011, LIA opened a satellite health clinic in Maper, a village 75 kilometers north of Rumbek, and plans are being developed to implement transformational development initiatives in Maper, Juba (the capital) and several other South Sudan communities.
Read more about LIA's work in Rumbek, South Sudan, here.