The roots of poverty are found in broken relationships. By restoring relationships, a community develops that enables those on the margins to be seen and their needs addressed. Such a community enables everyone to identify the resources they have and participate in a plan to create sustainable solutions.
All over El Salvador, churches are walking into their communities with a new and empowered vision to restore relationships. They are mending connections between and among local community associations, water boards, health committees, mayor’s offices and schools. They are supported by international church partnerships that send funds and service teams that help to galvanize their work. In fact, the relationship building led by the local church is ongoing and will provide exponential benefits to community health and a better quality of life long after international help moves on.
In the regions of Santa Ana alone, where approximately 69% or over 500,000 people live in extreme or severe poverty (making between $1-$2 per day) and issues of waste management, inadequate housing, dilapidated roads, poor health and a lack of viable jobs are daily challenges, 450 church and community leaders coordinated by 26 churches have been working toward sustainable solutions.
Among these churches, three have been incredibly active and effective.
Just since 2011, Nueva Jerusalen Church in Comecayo, Zurisidai Church in San Jacinto and Arca de Dios Church in El Ranchador, have created strong partnerships with their communities, hosted a myriad of international service teams and provided their own funds and labor to accomplish an astounding amount of projects that have addressed every challenge that families face in the region of Santa Ana.
All of these projects had a beginning date, but their effects are ongoing. Partnering with local churches such as these in the short-term is a sustainable way to make an impact!