Who Has the Best Solutions?


“Their Eyes Have Been Opened

Brazil and Burundi

In Buye, Burundi, residents celebrate the fact that their hard work now means they have clean water in their community.

In Buye, Burundi, residents celebrate the fact that their hard work now means they have clean water in their community.

Who knows best how to solve your problems?

When searching for solutions to the problems that plague your community, to whom might you turn? While many of us expect that outside experts will come into town to provide technical answers, we also want to hear from locals, people who know our community, our context and our people to be sure the technical answers address the key needs.

It is no different for aid projects in the developing world. However, one of the big problems with international aid is that outsiders are called in to solve the local problems. While this might work in the short term, or for disaster relief, at ARDF, we have found this approach to lack sustainability. Locals are the ones who know the situation on the ground and they know what problems need solving. They also know what has - and hasn’t - worked in the past. 

At ARDF, our model all along has been to work through local leaders to determine how the North American church can help. We do not have ARDF staff on the ground. But we do have the local church, a trusted institution that knows - and is known to - the community. Leaders in the local church know the needs of their people. Do they need a school, or a building to house students? Do they need seeds, or a market for their crops once harvested?

Over time, ARDF has developed trusted relationships with effective local leaders in places that are in dire need of transformation.

In the slums of Recife, Brazil, lay pastor Leonardo Dourado is deeply committed to the long-term transformation of his community.

At ARDF we are confident that our model works by placing the decision-making power in the hands of those closest to the community. The churches we work through are ideally situated to both represent and be accountable to the local community. 

In Burundi, the church in Buye has been instrumental in bringing clean water to communities. One community leader comments, 

“The Anglican Church has been a great help in my locality through this project. My people have taken the implementation as their own, and their eyes have been opened even towards other development works, I testify it because when we call them to the community works held each Saturday, they come in great number and with obedience. The water that we have got will reduce sickness due to lack of hygiene, and indirectly will contribute to the development of the community. Why? Because having good life is a key towards development.”

Through ARDF, you can rest assured that you are contributing to projects that won’t disappear as soon as the money is gone. Learn more about our development model here or contact us at admin@ardf.org.



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