Helping People Help Themselves To Self-Sufficiency


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El Puente - The Bridge

The Bridge


HOPE -- The Critical Ingredient

We believe it takes 5 things, delivered simultaneously, to maximize a family's chances of working from extreme poverty to self-sufficiency. These are summarized in the discussion of Our Approach.

The first four--legal compliance, education, income generation, and food--are obvious enough, and there are many organizations already providing assistance with one or more of them. Education is key, since learning new things is necessary to getting different results in life.

Hope--the fifth ingredient--is, in our view, the key.

Without Hope, a parent with a family to feed may feel that those first four things are simply not possible, and choose to spend much of the money earned on alcohol.

Hope can come to a family in at least two ways--by watching others succeed and learning that success for them is possible, and by simply knowing that yes, they can and will succeed, and acting accordingly. Some would call this second approach "having faith". Others would call it "positive thinking". Still others might say "you've taken it to prayer". Yet others would say "put everything in God's hands."

We have chosen to use tools from Science of Mind (SOM) as a way of building Hope--of helping individuals have the faith that they can succeed.

As an example -  Abelio - an indigenous father of 5 children stood in front of me one day. He was obviously very upset. He turned his pockets inside out and said with a great deal of energy and conviction, "I am always poor!"  I explained what that belief and declaration does--it ensures that he is, indeed, always poor. He  has since chosen other declarations, and now, after 5 painful years,  has all the work--and money--he needs to feed his family, care for their health, and begin to build security.  Maria, the mother in this family, is passing along these ideas to her children and their friends. She's illiterate, and will probably never read SOM materials, but the basic principles are still working for her and her family. In their case, they integrated this with their Christian beliefs--and this is as Ernest Holmes, the

creator of SOM, intended.

Others are watching this family change, and grow. They are getting the idea that change is, indeed, possible. They are building Hope as well.

Is their situation unusual? According to information from the World Bank, about 54% of the world population is illiterate and/or lives in extreme poverty.  As Abelio and Maria have shown, they can still benefit from the power of SOM, even though they are not likely to sit in a class or read Ernest Holmes. It may be possible to bring SOM to the world…

And so it grows.