Want to know what almost 8,000 people in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zimbabwe told us about the effectiveness of the church in bringing transformative change in their communities? We’re going to tell you some of the highlights from our pioneering study.
For over 50 years Tearfund has worked with local churches around the world to reduce poverty and seek transformational change for communities. We call this Church and Community Transformation, or ‘CCT’— and we’ve commissioned our largest ever impact study to gather more evidence on the effectiveness of this approach.
The results were amazing!
- 9 out of every 10 CCT communities had built new community assets, such as schools, water points or roads, or improved existing ones.
- And 75% of churches taking part in CCT reported an increase in attendance and giving in the last year.
In addition, on average, people in communities taking part in CCT were:
- 27% more satisfied with their lives*
- 23 percentage points more likely to have invested in assets like property or livestock in the last year*
- And 31 percentage points more likely to work on a shared project, such as starting a savings group*
But does this impact last over time?
The research found that partnering with churches is quick to bring real change, which is sustained for many years after Tearfund’s initial involvement.
This research has also shown us what happens to money invested in the local church.
When Tearfund invests this pound in CCT, it contributes to training a facilitator to run Bible studies that empower the community to find its own solutions to challenges it faces.
Maybe they decide to save money together to start a business, or campaign for access to clean water.
The research found that every £1 invested by Tearfund unlocks community resources and time for shared projects worth the equivalent of £7.
But it gets better. The study shows that together this investment ultimately creates a ‘social value’ or ‘social return’ of increased life satisfaction of over £211…This is equivalent to a social return of 1 to 28, showing that CCT is great value and worth investing in.
In short, this research shows that partnering with local churches works. It changes lives. And through it, we believe we can end extreme poverty.
To do this, we have a vision to scale up our work and see hundreds of thousands of churches lead transformation in their communities, to bring freedom from poverty.
Join the journey. Read our research summary to learn more, or get in touch about supporting our work.