How do you use Footsteps?

CommunicationEvaluations

1. Passing on the information 

Radio

Radio stations such as FEBA in Mozambique, Radio Lumiere in Haiti, HCJB in Equador and HRVC in Honduras use ideas from Footsteps as part of their broadcasts.

Newsletters

MTEA (Multi-Purpose Training and Employment Association) of Uganda distributes copies of Footsteps to their member groups in rural areas around Iganga, Uganda. In their small office they are building up a resource centre. They use information from Footsteps in workshops and also through preparing newsheets on relevant information for their members. They use silk-screen duplicators (photo, below) as a cheap way of making up to 100 copies for their member groups.

Translating

The 1996 survey of organisations sharing information from Footsteps found that out of 197 organisations, a total of 154 known languages (not all were named) were being used to pass on information to target communities. This reinforces just how widely articles are translated – sometimes verbally, but often in print.

The Myanmar Baptist Convention enthusiastically translates much of Footsteps – even copying the layout and headings – and produce their own version in Burmese.

Networking

Thanks to Footsteps, I was able to link up with Willem Klaassen doing community-based Christian development work in Swaziland (Footsteps 33 p7). My wife and I are doing similar work in northwest Cambodia. We have exchanged materials and the lessons we use for training. We would encourage anyone who is involved in such work to get the training materials Mr Klaassen has created (Footsteps 38 p4) and is kindly offering. They are great and we look forward to using them here. Thank you Footsteps for linking many of us, with similar hearts and visions, together!
David and Doris Strong, CAMA Services, Battambang, Cambodia.

Resources and libraries

Visits to Uganda and Ghana revealed that many readers ignore the Resources pages because they do not have any money to buy books. However, there are always free materials mentioned and it is always worth asking the organisations for literature to help in your work.

My library

Footsteps gathers different information world-wide and explains ideas well. Many people come to read my copies. The Resources section tells me where to write to get different books. Organisations often send me books free of charge if I explain about the aims and objectives of our fellowship. Now I have developed a good library and others come and borrow the books. There is a great shortage of agriculture books in our area. We have used many ideas from Footsteps (eg: protecting trees from goats, solving a conflict in a nearby village) and have also obtained tree seeds from organisations abroad which we are growing in a tree nursery.

Let us celebrate the tenth anniversary, thanking God for a job well done!
Macmillan Njekeyo, Soon Christian Fellowship, Zimbabwe.

2. Using the information

Respondents to the 1996 postal survey mentioned that 93% had used ideas from Footsteps and a further 54% provided evidence of the numbers using the ideas. Here are some recent comments.

Vegetable growing in towns

People who live in towns often don’t have land to grow vegetables and must depend on buying them in the markets. I read about the idea of growing vegetables in polythene bags in Footsteps (No 35, p6) and tried an experiment.

I bought 20 strong polythene bags in the market, filled them with soil and then kept them well watered. I planted cabbage and onions, both in the bags and on land in my small garden, planting four plants in each bag.

After three months the plants in the bags had grown much better than those in my garden and I think this is why:

  • The bags were filled with good soil and manure.
  • They can be moved for protection in very hot or wet weather.
  • They can be kept under partial shade to protect from hot sun and heavy rain.

Now I plan to tell others about my success and expand the number of bags I use.
Senya Lucy, Uganda.

Simple accounting system

We often use Footsteps in our work. No 26 gave information on keeping simple accounts and we now use this system in our department. Soon we plan to become involved in income generation activities and we keep your issue No 35 at hand for reference. We use the Bible studies during our workshops. Mulanje Mission Hospital Malawi

Open air literacy

These ACAS animators (photo) were trained by the Central African Association for the Translation of the Bible and Literacy Teaching (ACATBA). We do not have classrooms, but our teachers train the pupils under the mango trees in the open air.

Pasteur Joseph BADA, President of ACAS (Central African Action for Social Welfare), BP 146, Bangui, Central African Republic.

(Articles in Footsteps are written with an awareness of the needs of people reading in a second or third language, so the language level is kept straightforward. Articles are short and to the point. Because of this, many literacy groups find them very useful in literacy training.)

Rice husk burner

Thank you for the plans for a rice husk burner which you sent us some months ago. Since then we have had a large and a small one made and they are perfect. We use them at our orphan and elderly feeding programme and do not have to bother any more with firewood.
Kalabo, Western Zambia.

Planning and participation

AVIC (Assessing Visual Impairment in Children) was set up to help support children with poor eyesight. It has a resource centre gathering all kinds of information about visual problems and advice. It provides training and support for schools and communities caring for people who have recently suffered eye injuries. Footsteps 17 helped me to plan and establish AVIC back in 1993, based on the project framework exercise. More recently, articles on participatory approaches have helped us to encourage discussion between training centres caring for those with visual difficulties and the patients themselves, helping to encourage the necessary attitudes and skills for their future.
Charles Mlaponi, AVIC, T anzania.

A lot of useful information

Our organisation has gained a lot of useful information from Footsteps which we share with the community. Footsteps has helped us practise soil conservation, make compost and produce pesticides using local ingredients. We used the idea on simple drip irrigation for our kitchen gardens. Though we knew of several local herbs to use for improving health, the issue on animal health provided a lot more useful ideas.

People have been encouraged to adopt family spacing methods. They learnt how to make milk from soybeans and improve their diet. We learnt new ways of controlling mosquitoes and preventing malaria. We have enjoyed the various ideas for communicating information such as participatory approaches, the problem tree, role plays and running meetings.

Footsteps has also helped us get in touch with other useful organisations both in our country and abroad. We will continue to work promoting development in this area.
Balikowa Moses, Nakisenhe Literacy Group, Uganda.

Water tanks

I have been receiving Footsteps for the past year. I have really benefited by reading this magazine, particularly regarding appropriate technology. We used information from Footsteps to help in building two water tanks with ferrocement. We have shared our experience in a booklet to help others.
Jacob Immanuel, (Jacobimmanuel@hotmail.com)

Micro-enterprise

I gained many useful ideas from the issue on microenterprise and was encouraged to go ahead and start group work. We now make various handicrafts and also train apprentices. We use the Bible studies during our meetings. We also use tin smithing to produce small lamps and do repair work, and plan to set up training in this with street children.
Olet Sam, BOKE Outreach Team, Uganda.

3. Reproducing information

We receive many requests from groups wishing to include information from Footsteps in their publications or newsletters. As long as this is not for profit, we welcome the wider sharing of useful information, providing Footsteps and Tearfund are credited as the source. It’s always good to see the final product too, if you can send us a copy!

Readers' comments

Anniversary proverb

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of our journal with the other readers, we are sending you an anecdote from the Lega tribe in South Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo:

‘Bunene bwa nkoko, akulumanizye lunonge kudjuka’ This translates as ‘That day the hen arrived at the termites’ nest just as the termites were beginning to fly away, and that was its luck.’

This means that it is through working that we can achieve development, and not by folding our arms and waiting for a stroke of luck.

M Kankisingi Kitangilwa, Cyangugu, Rwanda

 

Other comments

"Footsteps is one of the rare newsletters which offers solutions to physical, social and spiritual problems."
Tanzania

"Every three months I receive Pas à Pas which teaches me many things in the development field. Pas à Pas develops a fresh style of living, with innovations and exhortation."
Luanda, Angola

"Footsteps is a breakthrough in the sharing of appropriate technology." Sri Lanka

"I would like to tell you how impressed I have been with some of the articles in Passo a Passo. Many of them address questions which fit in with the Angolan situation and because of this I would like you to send copies for us to share in the regions of Angola where we are working. I sincerely believe that it will have a considerable contribution to make in the development of certain groups who have lived on the margins of development until now."
Madalena Nguimbi, Angola

"Footsteps is simple, brief, straight to the point and free of jargon." AEC, Uganda

"With pleasure I acknowledge receipt of our 20 copies of Pas à Pas. So many newspapers go astray, and so many letters never arrive, that I thank the Lord for looking after their safe delivery! We give a copy of Pas à Pas to each group. Those who can read can talk about the articles to the others and the leaders find material for enriching the weekly meetings."
Ngaoundaye, Central African Republic