It is important to have a set of Core Values that are the underpinning of what we do. Below are the Core Values that drive Neighborhood Transformation
Integration and Wholism: We are committed to complete obedience to all that Jesus commanded, including both compassion for the people’s physical needs as well as evangelism and discipleship. Our programs seek the total development of the whole person and community.
Relationships: In urban settings people no longer know their neighbors. To implement change, both individually and as a group, people need to know each other so they can work together. We have many tools to help people get to know their neighbors.
Commitment to the Poor and Marginalized: Jesus came to preach good news to the poor. As His ambassadors, we are committed to them, affirm their worth, call them to be children of God through faith in Christ, and seek to release them from brokenness and despair.
Never Do for Others What They Can Do for Themselves When we do things for others that they can do for themselves we take away their dignity, making them dependent upon others. In addition it cannot be reproduced or sustained
Long-Term Solutions: We concentrate our efforts on long-term solutions that break the cycle of poverty and disease. We train, equip, and empower people to do for themselves, focusing on development rather than relief. We seek to empower people to do things for themselves and become connected to their community, which has been reshaped by their actions.
Local Ownership and Initiative: Sustainable programs are owned by the individuals and built on local initiative. Ownership and initiative are demonstrated through volunteerism and strengthened through capacity building. We take time in communities to listen to and participate with people in assessing their needs, identifying resources, and assisting them in organizing for action through training and consultation.
Strength Based Approach:We focus on the strengths found in the people and groups in the neighborhoods, which is built on what people have instead of what they don’t have. Equipping people to identify assets and interests of people and then connecting them around their interests accomplish this. We then work with them to look at the history of their neighborhood, their individual visions for the neighborhood and then form a consensus of what changes they want in their neighborhood.
Reproducible Tools:This approach has been created in over 3,000 lesson plans for urban settings, to be used by lay people to share with their neighbors through group dynamics and peer learning. The lessons are grouped into workshops of 4-6 hours duration, which are aimed for, and to be used by, local people.
Participatory Learning: We believe people must be active participants in their own learning and development. Therefore, we use methods for adult learning that engage participants in a process of reflection and action. We also believe people learn by doing and that modeling is essential.
Multiplication and Movements: Our aim is not merely projects, but movements. This is facilitated by training people to train others using concepts that are transferable. We emphasize the use of local resources and appropriate technologies so that solutions can be passed along neighbor to neighbor. We build cooperation and vision at a community level. We work collaboratively with faith- and community-based organizations, local and international relief and development agencies, churches and missions, as well as governments to facilitate the transformation of communities and nations.
Christian Servant Leadership: Jesus is our model. We seek to imitate him in humility and love. Jesus taught that the greatest in the kingdom is the servant of all. Every leader in our organization is Christian, and each one a servant. We seek to model servant leadership in our organization and programs and raise up leaders in every community who give sacrificially to serve the needs of the people.
Hope this gives you a better understanding of where we are coming from.
Stan the Urban CHE Guy