#LentPhotos today asks us to look for #refreshment
I remember laughing when I saw this quote “Bless me, what do they teach them at these schools.” -The Professor” … ideas about what/how to learn change frequently – and the scientific agenda of ‘fact’ is so strong that we end up losing creativity… (as I seem to remember Winston Churchill saying about the Second World War – what are we fighting for if it doesn’t include the arts and the imagination…)!
We are given one life to live to the full – but many of us – the way we’ve been brought up, our schooling opens up/closes down the opportunities … confidence has always been my lacking factor, but seeing the kids today – and their basic schooling – they were so excited with paper/pen … keeps reminding us how much we have.
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
This has been running through my head today as we chat with the people in the villages – and the question I often ask in digital training sessions “who is my neighbour in the digital age?” – these guys are our neighbours. I wondered if I was going to feel “sad” but actually I feel inspired and came away with a sense of hope – these people have been empowered to make a difference – and this evening we talked about how PAG, with support from Tearfund (who created the idea) – that there’s no point forcing people into a particular agenda – but empowering them to realise for themselves what they need. Many in the village, after years of being stuck in a refugee camp, were stuck in a subsistence mindset – took little responsibility for their own actions/futures, and they are now learning to do so – producing a bit more than they need to be able to look after themselves/others in their community – really heartening to see! And the kids smiles… made you forget that they were dressed in rags… but when we talked about “what can we do” – supporting Tearfund is one of the best things we can do as they have the infrastructure in place (funds go to PAG, local facilitators) and there is evidence of transformation already in place.
I’ve always taken time to think about my charitable giving (however small it has had to be at times), and list them here – an unsurprising mix of media literacy, Biblical literacy, and basics/development work. I also seek to hold a chunk in reserve to enable me to sponsor lots of people – much easier with JustGiving, Give.net, etc… Timewise, I also seek to give where I can … and this week in Uganda, though a true privilege – is tiring – and I’m superbly aware that the book deadline keeps ticking towards me!
Very apt for today, along with the other simple objectives set … we too often think that there’s no point just helping one person, as there are so many that still need helping…
‘Do for one person,’ he writes, ‘what I wish I could do for everyone, but can’t.’
But as we saw today in Ogongora, Tearfund/their local partners/the villagers – have all made small changes which have transformed their communities, and the message is spreading to other communities. If it had seemed pointless to “start with a single step” there would not be so much evidence of changed lives to see.
Well, I think I may have done that with just one or two people today … very strange having people almost curtsey as they shake hands with you…
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.