Here are some more photos from Right Sharing of World Resources beneficiaries in South India who received training and support for beginning micro-enterprises in floriculture amongst other projects.  (Read more on this group here.)  The first two photos show the women—a group of 25 (and growing)—at a four day training.  The second two pictures show two of the women, amongst their crops.

The Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 5:1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.

The Beatitudes

And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.

This women is a member of “Kihila Avalina Vakali”—another self-help group sponsored by Right Sharing of World Resources.  Centered in Western Kenya, the entrepreneurial project they have taken on is poultry-raising.  To learn more about our projects, visit:  http://www.rswr.org/Projects.php

This women is a member of “Kihila Avalina Vakali”—another self-help group sponsored by Right Sharing of World Resources.  Centered in Western Kenya, the entrepreneurial project they have taken on is poultry-raising.  To learn more about our projects, visit:  http://www.rswr.org/Projects.php

Ugali is one of the staple foods in East Africa where we center a large percentage of our microfinance projects.  So today, we bring you a short video about the making of this delicious cultural dish.

Sandy Davis, Friend and former Kenyan transplant writes:
 

The main staple food is ugali (pronounced “00-golly”) which is only water and maize flour.  Cooks in Western Kenya do not have measuring cups or spoons so they guess at proportions needed.  For the ugali, heat a certain amount of water in a large kettle over the fire.  The amount depends on how many people they will feed.  When it boils, enough maize flour is added to absorb all the water and make a solid “cake” of ugali.  It is then turned out of the rounded bottom of the pan onto a plate after being packed down hard.  It is then a mound on the plate.  Each person uses the communal knife to cut off a hunk of it for themselves.  Portions are pinched off with the fingers and molded and packed in the hand with a final indentation made with the thumb to form a spoon.  This is used to spoon up the greens or other broth and meat.

 Ugali is a yummy, chewy meal that compliments most anything.  If you give it a try at home, send us your pictures:  media@rswr.org

This is a photo from Right Sharing of World Resources partner Logeho Friends Women’s group of Kenya, East Africa.  They have several group entrepreneurial projects in the works.  The list includes the production of maize, beans, fish, kerosene, and firewood.  We hold these women and their families in the Light.  Would you join us?

The Right Sharing of World Resources board meets twice a year. These photos are from our April board meeting.  (Photos courtesy of Mary Lee Comer.) 

When dismal health conditions closed the tannery and weavery where the 22 women of “Seminary of Women Empowerment” formerly worked, a broad new opportunity began.  They would be their own bosses, while being supported by and accountable to one another.  They applied for a group micro-loan through Right Sharing of World Resources and upon receiving the $4875, began 4 new strands of income generating work:  weaving, baskets, garment-making, and produce-vending. 

The report above shares their thanks as well as photos from their ventures.

Aiming for Sweet Success

The Salem District of Tamil Nadu, south India is rich with hills.  The area is known by surrounding communities for it’s mangoes, steel and a large dam called the Mettur Dam.  (Pictured left.) 

The area is familiar to us, Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR), because we have partnered with a women’s self-help group there called Rural People’s Development Society, to encourage micro-enterprise development.

If you follow the sound of bees buzzing, you may happen upon the honey-saturated boxes of twenty-five women who have benefitted from RSWR microcredit to begin their new ventures.  Bee-keeping was one of the entrepreneurial activities these women chose to create better economic resources for themselves and their families.  
 

The women were trained by area Beekeeper, Mr. Vijayan, who instructed them about proper care of the bees while maintaining safety for themselves.  (See below.)

The group has already identified 15 more women to whom they would like to revolve their loan, to keep empowerment aflight.



To learn about this and other RSWR projects, visit our website.

"Giving Up Half Of Our Possessions Made Our Family Whole"

Stirred by economic injustice in the world, this Atlanta family felt convicted to sell their large home and through downsizing, give the proceeds to those in need.  (In this case, it wound up benefitting 30 villages in Ghana.)

Click here to read the article. 

Security, protection from scarcity and a temptation toward pride is so hard-wired in our systems, it is difficult to look very hard to see where we may be off.  

The father and daughter of this family wrote a book about their experiences called “The Power of Half” which encourages readers to consider where there is excess in their lives—excess that could be making an impact.  And it isn’t just about money.

Father and co-author Kevin Salwen writes:

…The more we’ve examined this abundant life the more we realize that everyone has more than enough of something. Spend 6 hours a week on Facebook? Cut it in half and now you have a new 3-hour resource to sing in a nursing home or clean a neighborhood park. Eat out four times a week? Cut that in half and share what you save with the local soup kitchen…A life of abundance, not scarcity.

It’s an interesting challenge.  In this case, it’s powerful to imagine the far-reaching and ongoing result from this one family.  Granted, they are wealthier than many, but still, through the charity they donated to, dozens of villages in Ghana have been provided with education, job training and basic infrastructure needs.

Have you had an experience where something caused you take stock of your life in a way that you hadn’t before?  Did you give in a way that was different than usual?  What was the result?

Send your stories to media@rswr.org.  

Watch an interview with the Salwen’s.



One of the most inspiring facets of this self-help group, in a time like this, is that these women are religious minorities who have joined together in microfinance ventures.  In south India, where they are located, religious minorities means the joining of Christians and Muslims.  Mixing relationship, money, accountability and responsibility is a risky prospect in any group, but there is something especially heartening here.

These Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR) beneficiaries are from the self-help group Annai Mary Foundation from Madurai district, Tamil Nadu, South India.  They are 50 women from 10 villages engaged in organic farming practices.  Their RSWR grant provided start-up capital as well as trainings in organizing and running a self-help group, book keeping, and skills training.  50 families are being impacted by a simple donation of $5,500.

Lead Us Not Into Excess, Share the Abundance

Writer and pastor Wess Daniels, tending to the garden

Wess Daniels is a Quaker pastor and writer from Camas, WA.  He was asked recently to reflect on the meaning of abundance.  Below is his response.


Abundance surrounds us. It fills our closets, drawers, backpacks and our garbage cans. And for many of us who are connected to a wide variety of privileges our abundance often translates into waste.

A friend of mine recently made a documentary called Dive! It poignantly addresses the connection between garbage and hunger, excess and waste. The film tracks a number of young white urbanites who have a new found joy in ‘rescuing’ food from the dumpster. This joy is challenged as they become aware of other, less privileged folks, also coming to the dumpsters for food.  The majority of the film dives into the connection between what lays as waste in our dumpsters and the great disparity and hunger both in our own society and around the world.

The film was documented during the growing global food crisis of 2008 and covers well the impact that this had on many low-income families in the US. The contrast between the amount of food found in dumpsters like Trader Joe’s in Los Angeles and the growing lack of food at LA food banks shocked the filmmakers. Filmmaker Jeremy Seifert notes, “In the physical act of jumping in a dumpster and eating waste something happens, the reality strikes you of what is taking place.”

And the reality is stark. Every year 96 billion pounds of food are thrown away in America, 11 million pounds a day, and a good majority of that food is fresh or days away from its expiration date. Recovering just some of this would make a huge difference. “The Department of Agriculture estimated in 1996 that recovering just 5 percent of the food that is wasted could feed four million people a day; recovering 25 percent would feed 20 million people. Today we recover less than 2.5 percent” (Dive Website).

The problem is not so much that we don’t have enough, but that some people have too much. Abundance is not the main issue at stake here, the abundance of the few is.

We live in a society of trash and are okay with this as long as it is our own excess we are throwing out. We forget that many in America (let alone other places in the world)

Read More

Hey!  You guys know about our (Right Sharing of World Resources) flickr page, right?  Click on the link above to access more photos from our projects.

Hey!  You guys know about our (Right Sharing of World Resources) flickr page, right?  Click on the link above to access more photos from our projects.

Women’s Empowerment Trust (WET) is the name of a self-help group in Tamilnadu, south India who are beneficiaries of Right Sharing of World Resources.  WET is composed of 16 single women—women who have lost their spouses, been deserted, or simply have never married.  They are involved in horticulture and cattle raising.  They each purchased one 9 month old calf (to be inseminated at 1 year) and received support and instruction in the growing of organic crops such as bananas, gourds, okra and eggplant.  They report that heavy rains have had negative impact on the most recent harvest.  They ask for continued moral support.  Thank you for supporting RSWR and please hold these women in the Light.

More photos from the field!  These photos, taken in Tamil Nadu, South India, feature the Right Sharing of World Resources sponsored Society for Health, Environment Rural Development Project training series.  In this series, these women were introduced to the practice of self-help, micro-enterprise, book keeping, conflict management and other related topics.

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