This book is an easy read with some keen insights. Great Introduction to Poverty & Community development Issues.
The Key Keen insights:
For example -in the west we view poverty as a "lack" of resources, where as the poor use psychological terms to describe their situation - How it makes them feel ashamed, embarrassed, powerless etc.
Secondly - The authors highlight the three kinds of "Help" one can give - Relief, Restoration, Development. Unfortunately the westerners approach almost all we do from the "Relief" category. Very Damaging and has created serious dependency, and harm to local people.
Thirdly, another keen insight is reminding us to NEVER ask a community what their needs are. It makes them immediately define themselves by what they "LACK" This is negative and causes further depression as you highlight all they don't have. It sets the community development person up as the only provider from the outside, making the poor think they have little or nothing to offer- it must come from outside sources.
Rather ask; "What resources, skills, knowledge etc do you have at your disposal around you to bear on your family or community issues. Help them to focus that, and then maybe you might be a small part of that skill/knowledge/resource equation. However, this question begins with the people thinking about what is "right" with me and my community.
I recommend making it mandatory reading for all Christian field visitors, short -term mission teams (From grade 7 up) and missionaries who already are trying to do something, anything , to help poor families.
Read the book if you would like to BEGIN helping the poor.
It's the perfect starter book on the subject. Will also keep you, and any field visitors, humble about our "real" place in the helping process among the poor.
Andy Rayner Man Of Peace Development (org)