Heartbeat for Africa has as its mission to see true transformation take place in the rural communities throughout West Africa. Our passion comes from a deep belief in all people as miracles of God’s creation. Instead of giving handouts that discourage initiative and can create dependency, we give a hand up in a spirit of true friendship. We do not focus on what people lack but on what they can do to overcome the hardships of life, including terrible poverty. We offer culturally-appropriate practical training that enhances the God-given abilities of people and builds their capacity for effective individual and collective action.
For HBA, Community Health Evangelism/Education (CHE) is the method that is used to bring about that transformation. CHE works because it is the community’s own program, with CHE trainers serving as catalysts for change. CHE concentrates efforts on long-term solutions that break the cycle of poverty and disease. Through CHE we train, equip and empower people to do for themselves. We focus on development rather than relief and disease prevention rather than cure. To learn more about CHE, visit the Global Community Health Evangelism Network website.
These are the outcomes that we consistently see in mature CHE programs around the world:
- Shared vision: The community sees a better future and has hope that it can be achieved.
- Leadership: Godly Christian leaders are positioned and equipped to lead the community toward the accomplishment of its vision.
- Ownership: People are taking responsibility for their own health and well being.
- Cooperation: People are united and working together for the common good.
- Volunteers: Significant numbers of people are taking initiative and acting sacrificially to meet the legitimate needs of others.
- Dignity: People have recovered their identity as made in the image of God and their vocation as stewards of creation. Instead of being controlled or victimized by their environment, they are stewards of it.
- Learning, Skill, and Resources: People are equipped to identify needs and resources, put together a plan and mobilize volunteers to accomplish their vision. People are continually reflecting on what is happening in order to learn how to be more effective.
HBA works through a partnership with an organization called Lifewind West Africa that has developed CHE. Lifewind has Country Coordinators and Trainers in most countries of West Africa. The coordinators and trainers have the responsibility for reaching their own people both in meeting their physical as well as their spiritual needs. So CHE is an integrated transformational approach which serves to transform individual lives, lifting communities out of poverty and multiplying this success throughout their region and country.