Editorial by Helen Gaw

‘Mobilising local resources’ is another way of saying ‘It starts with us’. Mobilising local resources begins with recognising what we have and realising what we can do with it.

Our skills and knowledge are fantastic ‘local resources’ that can remain hidden. On pages 4 and 5 we share an approach to small businesses that aims to make the most of people’s skills, and on page 15 we ask how we can learn from the knowledge of older people.

Once we recognise what resources we have, we are free to share them generously with others (page 7). Local churches are well placed to serve and empower others in this way (page 14), believing and trusting in God as the source of all good things.

With confidence and hope we can also increase what we have, through income generation (page 5) and working with government and others to get better local services (pages 8–11).

But money remains only part of the picture. The most significant change often comes through working hard to develop good relationships. Friendship in itself releases resources, for example through shared know-how, but it has a much deeper importance in our lives than providing for our material needs – it gives us love and acceptance (pages 1–3).

So mobilising local resources is about making the most of what we have, increasing what we have and sharing what we have. Let’s open our eyes to see not just the opportunities and resources we already have, but the value in the people around us.

Please find below articles from Footsteps issue 93 in html. 

To download a pdf version of Footsteps issue 93, please click here (PDF 1.1 MB). 


  • ‘Day 1 affects day 100’

    by Jean Johnson. According to Don Cormack, the author of Killing Fields, Living Fields, the Protestant Church in Cambodia grew in the 1950s and early 60s to two thousand people...

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  • Facilitators learning together

    The Baptist church in Myanmar is the largest denomination in the country, made up of 18 conventions with around 4,900 churches. Eden is a Church and Community Mobilisation (CCM) process that started three years ago and has been implemented through six conventions so far.

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  • Letters

    Using Footsteps to support environmental work Greetings from Women in Struggle (WIS) Pakistan. WIS is community-oriented organisation that has worked in Pakistan since 1994 to uplift women, youth and children through bringing alternatives for development. We are working at grassroots level and we received some Footsteps publications. One of them is Footsteps 85 regarding trees. It has a wonderful and practical knowledge of community reforestation. WIS is thankful to all the Footsteps team and contributors, working together to bring practical ideas. WIS is not in a position to pay charges for publications, but your material always gives us a better understanding of different topics. We want to keep these publications in our library so that other people can also benefit from them. I am sending you a photo of a youth initiative for saving the environment. It would be good if you could share it with others. Anosh Shahid Women In Struggle – WIS, Catholic Church Warraym Road, Toba Tek Singh…

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  • Living generously

    A biblical reflection by Dr Sas Conradie. I have a dream that gives me hope for the future – a global Christian culture of biblical stewardship and generous living, giving and fundraising. My dream is based on biblical principles:

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  • Local knowledge

    Within the local community there are often many valuable sources of information. Older people in particular are often a huge store of information about the local environment, cultural traditions and customs, and the uses of local plants and animals, particularly for their medicinal qualities.

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  • Making the most of meetings with decision-makers

    One way of mobilising resources is to work in partnership with local decision-makers. Local government often has money to spend in the local area, and communities may wish to influence how the money is spent. The following guidelines are for when we arrange a meeting with a decision-maker, such as a local government official, business leader or religious leader, and we want to develop a relationship with them in which we can make requests and offer encouragement and support.

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  • Mobilising the church

    Churches, like other faith communities, are very well placed to mobilise local resources for their own benefit and for the benefit of others. The process of church and community mobilisation (CCM) helps local churches and communities build on the resources and skills they already have. It inspires and equips people with a vision for determining their own future with their own resources.

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  • Not giving the answers

    When we are teaching, training and facilitating on any topic it can be tempting to give all the answers. But when we do not give answers, we give those we are working with something even more important: an opportunity to discover what they know already and to grow in confidence. In this way we help people to mobilise their own resources.

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  • Participatory Planning Process pays off

    by Lyn Jackson. How can the ideas of community members affect what a government does? In Nepal, as in many developing countries, there are some excellent policies and legislation that protect poor people and involve communities in political processes. The difficult part is turning the policies and legislation into reality.

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  • Resources

    ROOTS 6 – Fundraising by Rachel Blackman ISBN 978-1-904364-28-3 This book explains how to develop a fundraising strategy and contains ideas to help organisations do fundraising in different ways. Many development organisations rely heavily on a few large donors outside their communities, but this causes problems. Firstly, they are vulnerable. If one donor decides to withdraw its funding, the organisation might have to make cutbacks in terms of staff and activities. Secondly, they might follow the donor’s strategy to ensure future funding, which might lead them away from their vision and mission. It is important to develop other types of support, including local support. All the Tearfund books on this page can be downloaded free of charge from this TILZ website. They are also available in French, Portuguese and Spanish. To order copies, email or write to International Publications, Tearfund, 100 Church Road, Teddington, TW11 8QE, United Kingdom. Releasing…

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  • Saving together succeeding together

    by Mulugeta Dejenu.‘You will never make it’ are the words that 30-year-old Zenebech Tesfaye recalls hearing when she joined the Yenegefire (Tomorrow’s Fruit) self-help group and planned to save 1 birr (US $0.05) per week. ‘They laughed, they teased and made all sorts of funny comments, but I decided not to listen to them and instead continue saving.’

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