Helping Without Hurting is a phenomenal and insightful series that clarifies and enlarges our understanding when it comes to poverty alleviation, short and long-term missions, and helping those in need. This six-part video series is a great watch and can be found below.
When we discuss poverty, we must understand its definition. Poverty is not just a lack of materials and resources, so we cannot treat these issues simply by giving money, even with the sincerest of intentions. We need to take time to understand people, culture, context, and assets before diagnosing what we think is the solution. Often the solutions we come up with do more harm in the long run than good.
When we help those in need, it is not about ‘us’ going and fixing ‘them’, but rather “it’s about walking side by side and saying, ‘I’m broken, you’re broken, but Jesus Christ can show up and bring healing to both of us.'”
Poverty alleviation is about reconciling and restoring relationships. It’s a process in which people – both materially poor and non poor – move closer to living in right relationship with God, self, others, and the rest of creation.
“Asking people to be the solution to their own problem, allowing them to innovate. That’s what empowerment really is. That’s real change.”
This series is based on a book series by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert titled, “When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor… and Yourself”, as well as the Helping Without Hurting book series. We highly recommend watching and reading through this series.