A key of sustainability is a bit more subtle, critically important, and something we've learned over time. It is perception. Perception by the kids who invariably gather as a curious audience as our work progresses. Do they see only a group of "outsiders" doing what they cannot, solving their problems, implementing equipment strange to them? Or do they see local folks they can identify with doing these new things? And consider someday "I can do that too!" Providing a vision for these kids is what it is all about. It is better that we are few, stay in the background, and form teams on the ground. And that is what sustainable change is all about!
LCPC partners with, and financially supports MOH, with mission groups traveling to Malawi to share the love of Jesus Christ and seeking to help make life healthier, more enjoyable, and to bring hope for orphan children in the remotest of villages. Over the past 6 years we have taken on an project orientation with the goal of sustainable change that will yield real progress for a better future.
About Us: Our Mission
The primary goal of our programs is sustainability. But this is much more than striving for quality, employing long lasting components, and design for reliable operation in all we do. It means that we seek to develop an "intrastructure" that can be expanded by our partners after we have returned home. There's nothing more exciting than learning that cell phone charging, and barber shops, have been set up, or that gardens have been expanded to produce more vegetables.
How We Operate
Malawi Visions is a hands-on development team. Studies have shown that long-term growth and sustainability only occur when humanitarian programs engage with, and operate under, local peoples. When the throngs of kids gather to watch our project activities, we must not inadvertently communicate that “we foreigners are here en masse to solve your problems, because you cannot do it yourselves.” There are too many failed development programs in Africa for such reasons as these. We operate with a team of almost two dozen at-home volunteers conducting fabrication and assembly, packing, and preparing for our Malawi projects. The home team projects and planning are a massive undertaking, exceeding 90% of our annual activity, and facilitate the opportunity for many people within our church, as well as the greater community, to contribute their time and talents to create hope within some of the most vulnerable children on earth. Without traveling 8,000 miles! Each year one or more of us spend 3 weeks in Malawi, in the role of “project manager,” leading a dozen Malawian volunteers conducting the on-ground activity. We “see” our mode of operation working and are encouraged, as increasingly our Malawian brothers grow in confidence and seek to continue our projects by themselves after we return home.
Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church (LCPC) has sponsored mission programs to Malawi Africa for over 12 years. Over this time that activity has evolved to focus upon the severe developmental needs in what has been classified as the poorest nation on earth. Today, LCPC’s Malawi Visions is a Christ-centered, projects-orientated mission working in partnership with the Malawian Christian organization Ministry of Hope (MOH), who operate six “Community Development Centers” to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of orphan children in the remotest of villages in Africa. Combined, the six MOH centers feed and provide services to over 4,000 orphan children every day!
We selected the name Malawi Visions because we view our purpose to be creating visions in the minds of the children of what is possible for them, and who they might become. We believe that without a personal vision, and without Jesus Christ, there can be little hope. And without hope, little changes.
The matrix toward Hope
It is not by reinforcing the perception that we are there to solve their problems. And the more of us the more that can be accomplished. For that reinforces poverty of ideas and confidence to move forward: well-meaning efforts inadvertently communicating that we do what they are incapable of doing themselves. Rather we initiate “infrastructure”. Involving locals as much as possible, and selecting and planning programs for long term development. While, even more importantly, demonstrating to the next generation (who watch everything we do), that if their own family members are involved why could they as well not do the same? Our role is cultivating hope for change. It is far better for one or two of us to lead teams of Malawian locals, than to send an “army” of volunteers.