When you look at Mbagishi community, what you generally see are the thatched houses, the untarred roads, no sight of electric poles, scanty hospital professionals and so on.
The written hands of what we call ‘poverty’ are clearly visible in this rural community of Vandeikya Local Government of Benue State Nigeria.
But, what is our definition of poverty? Is it just the living below a certain amount of $ per day or the inability to think and act freely?
At Prikkle Academy, we believe that every community has a huge store of potential asset, that individuals and institutions in every community have distinct strengths which, if combined together will bring countless development into the community.
It is with this asset-based community development mindset that we started out our Collaborative Community Project with 40 participants among the Mbagishi People. We wanted to hear what the people think about themselves and their situation. Since, we won’t (actually, can’t) judge how best a person should live his/her life.
Raising a transparent glass with water filled up to the middle point, we asked, “Do you feel your community is half-full or half-empty?’ It was a very heated discussion. The larger percentage of the participants said their community is half empty because they lack the basic social infrastructures that are in the city and because most of them are barely surviving.
Very striking comments from others that agree that their community is half-full said, “Though there are many problems in our community, yet we are blessed with many useful things and very successful people,”
W also did an inventory of the gifts of the hand of all the participants – this is an idea of listing out what people have been doing with their hands. We had a long list, such as typing, writing, digging, to build, to carry, to ride bicycle, to eat, to paint, to hold, to draw, to plant and several other beautiful gifts in the hands of the people.
An important lesson for us from the session was that, how we think about things is what makes the difference. Our perspectives about our lives and our community have a lot of effect on how we act and react to different situations.
PS: Please click here to visit our support page in case you’ll like to donate to the incredible education work of Prikkle Academy in the rural communities of Africa.