Helping our partner projects become sustainable and resilient

E3’s dream is for our partner projects to become self-sustaining.

This means that through income generating activities and local support they begin to self-fund parts of their work and ultimately are able to continue without us. It means they are no longer dependent on outside help, giving dignity to all involved and setting an example to show that a hand up rather than a hand out of poverty can change things forever and help a community stand on its own two feet. It also means the projects are protected from changes in funding in the future.

We’re excited that the Pastors’ Economic Empowerment Project in Zambia has achieved that very thing! It no longer needs financial support from E3. Pastors receive training and loans to set up small businesses to help support their families while they serve sacrificially in their local churches. As they pay back those loans, other pastors are able to join the project and they too will move out of income poverty.

Our partners have started to work towards self-sustainability. Here are some examples.

Umvini Community Foundation started a chicken farm in 2017. It now employs a manager and two other ladies to rear the chickens. They sell 300 to 350 chickens a month for meat. This has generated enough income to buy a new vehicle to transport chicken feed and give orphaned children a lift to Church. It has also enabled them to employ two people for church administration and pay school registration fees and buy uniforms for orphaned children. Umvini has just bought a slaughtering machine to process the chickens, using an E3 sustainability loan, to increase capacity and profitability.

Mountaineers for Christ (MFC) in Lesotho runs a Boarding Home at its school so children who live at a distance can stay there in the week, the community’s first burial home to bring dignity and support to bereaved families and a minibus to transport children to school for a small fee, thanks to E3 funding. These projects help support its work and provide services to the community. Using an E3 sustainability loan in 2020, they hired a borehole drilling company and installed an electric pump with a view to starting a water bottling company. The borehole has helped MFC to reduce overhead costs of Municipal Water Bills at their church, offices and the boarding home.

The Metropolitan Church in eSwatini runs a block making business, which is helping to fund church running costs and social projects. Through Acts of Faith, E3 funded a water pump and training to enable the block making business to start. Acts of Faith also received an E3 sustainability loan in 2020 to set up a co-operative where farmers and small businesses can access small loans with interest.
E3 provided a vehicle for Paran Christian Ministries so staff can easily visit microfinance group members. The car was not used during evenings and weekends so they registered it with Uber. For the last two years, it has generated a good income to help fund Paran’s work and the drivers have benefited hugely. James was the first driver and Emmanuel the second – both earned enough to buy their own cars and now run Uber businesses. Engels, a refugee from Burundi, is the current driver. He can now meet the basic needs of his family. At the beginning of 2020, Paran bought a second vehicle with an E3 sustainability loan. The extra income will improve Paran’s financial sustainability and help set up new projects to help those in need.

Sustainability loans in 2020

E3 gave loans to 7 partner projects in January 2020, to enable them to set up income-generating activities. This is a first for E3 and we are excited to test how this works and see the difference it will make in the future for our partners’ sustainability. The businesses they are setting up include a food shop, Uber vehicle, bottled water business and student accommodation to rent out.

And that is just the start! As our partners plan for this year and beyond, they are all considering ways to begin income-generating activities. It’s not just about the income, but also about training and equipping local people with skills to earn a living.