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’s Chicken Farm supplies affordable quality meat to the local community. It has created five jobs for church women and the profits provide school uniforms for a number of children on the Back to School programme.

Mountaineers for Christ’s Boarding Home for orphaned and vulnerable children at a school in Mokhotlong, Lesotho, is part funded by money from the Church’s mortuary business and part funded by fees from paying boarders. Orphaned and vulnerable children who walk long distances to school benefit from living in the Home during the week and receiving nutritious food and help with homework. E3 helped fund the building of the Boarding Home and the Mortuary.

The Metropolitan Church in eSwatini runs a block making business, which is helping to fund church running costs and social projects. E3 funded a water pump and training to enable the block making business to start through Acts of Faith.

At Paran Christian Ministries, an E3-funded vehicle not only helps Pastor Eugene and his team support small business owners as part of the microfinance scheme. It is also registered with Uber so when it isn’t being used for ministry, it is generating an income. One of the church members drives it in the evenings in the airport area and it is earning around £140 (nearly $200) a week in income. It’s a great opportunity to generate a sustainable income to help fund Paran’s vital work.

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.