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  • Writer's pictureAmy Silaphot

"Give a Man a Fish..."


"...and he'll eat for a day. Teach him to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime."


Many of us have heard this saying used to explain why giving handouts doesn't solve the deeper problems of poverty. But is teaching a person to fish really the answer? What if the person doesn't have access to a good place to fish? What if their family doesn't like eating fish?


Teaching a person skills is great, but it takes some time and understanding to know what kinds of skills a person is motivated to put to use. It sounds like a good idea to teach fishing, but if the fishing student finishes the lesson and then never puts the new skill to action, the idea ends with the teacher.


In efforts to develop a community, oftentimes a well-intentioned organization from the outside is too quick to provide a solution to perceived problems before they understand the context of the people within the challenging circumstances. An outsider may recognize a real problem and come up with a good project to help, but if the local people themselves aren't invested in the idea, the project will only last as long as the outsider is involved. This is the danger of project-based community development. It lacks sustainability and makes local community members dependent on outsiders for resources and momentum.


At Rise Up Thailand we are committed to raising up local leaders to develop their community. This takes more time and effort in understanding challenges through the perspectives of others. But we believe that the longer process is worth it because empowering the next generation within the community is the most sustainable way to create a better future.


Join us in praying for the people of Pa Deng. May God open their eyes to envision a better future for their families and community!



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