Taking the Long View
Updated: May 21, 2021
Happy September! We hope your back to school transition has gone smoothly. Mick and I think that this season of expectation and looking forward is a good time to announce a new approach to gift-giving here at Zozu Project.
From the beginning, our heart has been to help the children we serve not by handing out everything they need but by empowering their families to provide for them. Over the years of learning from our Ugandan staff they have explained that one of the biggest challenges to self-sufficiency is that next to none of these families have savings. Over 95% of the families are outside the banking system. Most of the children are cared for by single women who quite literally have no safe place to put money should they come into a surplus. They desire to send their children to higher education, start a business, or make a family purchase beyond basic needs, but due to lack of funds, cultural practices, or lack of physical space, these families cannot save to make progress towards financial independence.
The new system for keeping track of each child’s savings.
We spent months talking to our staff, and from now on, excepting special circumstances*, 50% of any gift that a sponsor gives directly to a child and their family will be spent on family needs that month, and 50% of the gift will be saved. This applies to one-time “child and family” gifts, not monthly sponsorships, and will happen by default.** However, sponsors, you are still welcome to have a say in how your gift is used! If you would like a gift to be spent in its entirety, you can indicate so in the comments section on the online giving form, or write “100% spend” in the memo line on the check you mail in. If you have concerns and would like your gifts to always be spent in their entirety, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Elaine will happily get back to you.
We prayerfully believe that this will create more opportunities for self-empowerment, and we trust that the Lord will bless these savings. For example, a family could purchase building materials to construct a rental house, more land to increase their farming output, or a sewing machine to start a small business. We are very excited about the potential this unlocks to lift the whole family out of poverty through business opportunities and investments.
Most of all, we hope this encourages you that your donations and gifts are being stewarded wisely. We consider it a great honor to be the stewards of the generosity of God’s family and don’t take it lightly. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Elaine at email@example.com.
Thank you so much,
Elaine and Mick
Can you imagine managing a household of this size with no savings?
No longer! Perhaps one day they will be able to send their children to high school…
* Some circumstances: if your gift is designated to a specific big-ticket item, like a mattress or bike, or the family does have an uncommon emergency at the time you give the gift. We would never withhold from a family in dire need.