Community development is high on the list of priorities for SIM. Generating opportunities for local communities to take responsibility for their future wellbeing is a preferred outcome. Aid projects are necessary to take communities from the threat of extinction – development programmes move local communities away from the brink of disaster to sustainable, healthy living conditions.
In times of emergency, SIM missionaries are at the forefront of relief efforts with food, shelter and emergency aid. When the crisis has passed, SIM mission partners provide agriculture and livestock as well as small business training and assistance for communities working toward long-term stability.
Examples: Kiwi helicopter pilot Dean Yeoman flies into the Zambezi Delta. During recent floods when crops were destroyed, he and the team brought emergency relief. In on-going development, an agriculture/water pump project is exceeding expectations; villages have tripled the output of food gardens and pass surplus seeds to the next village wanting to join the project. In a drought-prone area of Burkina Faso, Pete Johnstone is working alongside local farmers, by raising crops using four different methods in four test plots; a practical demonstration successfully showing that “the way we always do it” can be improved on.