We Met: James #TFBloggers

Spot the Latrines in this picture
Spot the Latrines in this picture

James wanted to talk about PEP and some of the changes in the church, and talked about CD (Christ Disciples Structure) – they decided to keep going with their meetings whilst the group saved to buy land for a new church – he is one the group pastors.

James is from one of the other nearby villages to Weela, where before PEP there were no pit latrines. There were many children of school age at home (particularly the girls) – but latrines didn’t seem high on the list – and some of the villagers thought it was better to use the manure on the land.

Before PEP he had resources but didn’t know how to make the best use of them… he’s now proud to say that he owns a mattress, and all his children are at school.  He said them in that order…


We Met: George William #TFBloggers


George William stood up in our session in Weela to say how much he enjoyed participating in the PEP process.  When he was first introduced to the idea, he wasn’t too sure about it, as he’d gone along expecting the usual handouts received from other NGOs. He became someone who went to collect information from the process – people were unsure about what he would do with the information they would give him, so he had to explain every time, so did get the information required to show where the village needed to focus its efforts.

George William was an orphan, married at 15, with 3 children by the time the PEP process started, but found that he was not able to provide for them. He felt that PEP would show him what he could do, and started to think more about the resources that he already had and how he could use them. In 2010 he managed to produced 10 bags of groundnuts, and was able to store them in order to sell them at a good time to secure good prices. He was then able to buy a motorcycle, and his next aspiration is to build a brick house – and he has already started making the bricks.

George William gave specific thanks to Tearfund for providing the money to PAG, which then trains the villagers in the knowledge required.


We Met: Clement #TFBloggers

Clement and his 'nearly ready' shop in which he will buy farmer's goods and sell on at market prices
Clement and his ‘nearly ready’ shop in which he will buy farmer’s goods and sell on at market prices

On Friday we met Clement, who is one of the Church and Community Resource Pastors (CCRP), and he was keen to tell us how PEP had transformed his life. He went through the camps in the civil war, a time of great insecurity. He indicated that they had got used to a life of handouts from e.g. The Red Cross, and got used to a life of dependency. This then closed the mind to other possibilities, or the opportunities of drawing upon one’s own resources. Even when resettled in the villages, an attitude of dependency still prevailed, but PEP changed attitudes.

In the Bible study resourcing sessions, there was evidence that God had already given many resources for our needs, and the villagers started forming groups of 5-10 to meet the needs that the villagers determined that they had. One interesting aspiration was that the community would no longer have to offer plastic plates to guests, and that breakable plates were purchased (we know they achieved this, we used them for lunch!)

Clement now feels proud of their independence, that they are no longer dependent on others. Previously he would have been full of self-defeating thoughts, but the villagers can now see their own potential. The process has given knowledge and the ability to stand alone. They say that some NGO’s provide the fish, and some provide the hook with which to catch the fish – PEP provides the hook, and offers a more sustainable and aspirational lifestyle.


Weela: Some Progress #TFBloggers


On Friday we visited the sub-district of Weela, which went through the PEP process around 6 years ago, and was one of the pilot projects for PEP (see all Facebook photos). Those in the village were certainly enthusiastic advocates for the scheme, and were keen to show us what had been achieved – and were disappointed that as we’d left a couple of hours late (due to a vehicle breakdown) we couldn’t visit as many people’s homes (if we get back really late, it’s hard to get any blogging done!).

Some of the general information they shared with us is that

  • Before the PEP process only about 5% of the village had pit latrines, now about 90% have – with only the elderly/infirm who don’t (I was a little concerned as to why no one was helping dig for them, but we guess that these people are comfortable with what they already have – tis not clear)
  • Before the PEP process around 90% of men were drunkards, and that figure has reduced to near zero, some as a result of conversion experiences, others simply from being involved in the PEP process, and seeing some hope back in their lives if they work hard.
  • Some who had money, were keeping it in the house, rather than investing it into land, motorcycles, etc. which could help achieve a better lifestyle from their families – and not leave them a victim to starvation when famine hits – the village now has a number of better built houses (this particularly seems to apply to brick houses, rather than the mud huts).
  • The villagers were particularly proud of the benches that they had build, and the church that is halfway done (and Ugandans seem very patient – being prepared to wait e.g. a year between putting the walls up – then harvesting to earn the money for the roof).  A nursery school and 2 primary schools now also exist.
  • Previously only 6 in the village had sat for O-Levels, now 20+ have done so.

The villagers work together to evaluate the process, expecting this to be ongoing for generations, as there are always improvements that can be made. PAG only checks in about once a year now, but all continue working and praying together… and note that the leader in the village is a Muslim – the process is open to all – and tends to focus on points of unity, rather than points of difference. (Can I just get an Amen there!)