Liz & Rick’s Trip to Seed Effect, in South Sudan
Let us start by saying "Thank You!" for visiting our fundraising page!
A couple years ago we learned about South Sudan and it broke our hearts. The need is huge and almost completely unknown or ignored. I met my friend Missy and she began telling me about work that her and her husband were starting with a microfinance organization, Seed Effect... and the stories started coming. Amazing stories of hope and life changing transformation.
Rick and I were hooked, and have been supporting Seed Effect's microfinance and education work ever since. Well, it’s been our dream for years to get to visit the staff of Seed Effect and see their efforts on the ground – to get to encourage them - to be humbled, taught and inspired by them - and offer whatever we can in training classes and business skills.
Here's where we need your help! We are asking for prayers and support to help us make the trip a reality – and for others to be part of our experience. We want to be able to not take away from the funds they have to do their work – so our trip needs to be funded outside of Seed Effect – and our goal is through sharing Seed Effect’s story we can bring more funds for life saving loans with us, and share the bounty we have in America. Will you help us?
It could mean life changing first loans for dozens of families in South Sudan!
So you might be wondering about some details and I'm super excited to share more, so if you have a couple minutes keep reading....
Where is this South Sudan place, and what's the deal there?
Well, it's just south of Sudan. Just kidding, it's in central Africa. South Sudan became an independent country in July 2011, after almost 50 years of 2 back-to-back civil wars, where 4 million were killed and 2 million were displaced as refugees. After the peace agreement was signed, over 8 million refugees began returning to their former home to begin rebuilding their lives. These are a people who are incredibly determined, amidst much hardship and need. South Sudan was then, and still is one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world, yet the people have a sincere desire for a hand up, not a hand out—an opportunity to rebuild their lives and provide food, education and health care for their children.
What is Seed Effect?
Seed Effect is a Christ-centered nonprofit microfinance organization. The mission is to plant the seeds that overcome poverty by providing access to microloans, education, and spiritual discipleship in marginalized communities. It starts with a life, impacts a family and transforms a community. Check out www.seedeffect.org
Why not just give these folks some food or something?
Yep - Food, water, healthcare, and education are mere luxuries for millions in South Sudan. But when you ask the materially poor what they believe poverty really is, the answer might surprise you. They won’t always tell you that it’s a lack of things, but more often they’ll say that it’s a lack of dignity, security, opportunity, and hope. They say it is loneliness, pain, bondage, and powerlessness. Seed Effect exists because people lack access to the hand-up, the tool, the opportunity that could change the cycle of poverty in their families for generations to come.
Microfinance is a tool that can enable the poor to break the cycle of poverty by providing small loans and savings services to support income-generating businesses. With repayment of each loan, the money is reinvested as loans to other entrepreneurs, thereby multiplying the impact of each donation.
Ok, so what does that actually look like?
Here's an example, a woman may have a business selling hand-sewn dresses in the market. While she’s very hard-working, she is only able to complete a new dress every few days. However, by providing her with a microloan to purchase a sewing machine, she is able to make more dresses, grow her business and better provide for her family.
As Milton Friedman, the 1976 noble peace prize winner, put it “the poor stay poor, not because they are lazy, but because they have no access to capital.”
Check out the Seed Effect website for more details!
|Anonymous Friend||11/01/2014||$100.00||Brinker International||09/16/2014||$500.00||Sergey Shubin||09/13/2014||$100.00||Honoring Liz and Rick Agostin. Good luck with your adventure and your mission! Sergey & Olga||Monece Appleton||09/13/2014||$50.00||Admire everything you are doing-have an amazing adventure! M&S||Kerri McLeroy||09/12/2014||$25.00||Bianca Hernandez||09/02/2014||$50.00||Safe travels!||Rick and Liz Agostin||08/26/2014||$500.00||Anonymous Friend||08/21/2014||$500.00|