As I write this, 15 Burkinabé are getting equipped in Amoveo Group’s Community Development Assessment training. What this means is that we are multiplying the impact of the collective impact partners Amoveo Group has brought together in Burkina Faso. That is a good thing!
At the beginning of the year, the leadership team at Amoveo Group set some God-sized goals for the next 18 months of our existence. They were –
- Bobo Center of Agriculture in Bobo-Dioulasso,Burkina Faso becomes Operational
- Hounde’ Technical High-School in Hounde, Burkina Faso has property secured by boundary wall
- Maranatha Hospital in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso becomes Operational
- Phase 1 of El Cibao Regional Collective Impact Project in Dominican Republic Completed
- Launch Amoveo Send – Amoveo Group’s International Development Worker Sending Organization
- International Development teams Recruited & Placed in Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Haiti, Mexico and Cambodia
- Acquire land in the community of Zacamil in San Salvador, El Salvador for a Community Center.
- Acquire land just outside of San Salvador to begin phase 1 of the Ecotourism site that will fund and provide property to build a permanent home for Tia Ana’s Place for Displaced Children so they can move outside of the gang zone.
- Development assessments completed in the Zacamil community of San Salvador, El Salvador, an additional 15 villages in Burkina Faso and the Chatuley community of Leogane Haiti.
- Recruit an additional 25 participants for collective impact initiatives around he world
- Influence the beginning of one social business to begin to generate sustainable revenue for our development initiatives.
We are happy to say that we are progressing positively on each one of these areas.
We at Amoveo Group are humbled at the rapid growth of the scope and responsibility that has been generated from the impact of our work – But we cannot go about it alone.
Would you consider adopting one of these points to pray for and support financially?
Central America has always been an amazing place to visit. The weather is always warm. The food and drink are always great. And the relationships I have there are some of the best I have in the world. This visit was no different.
Tim and I took a tour of Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador this past week setting up Collective Impact projects. It was Tim’s first visit to Central America and he saw a lot. We visited a couple of great organizations in San Jose, Costa Rica. We saw slums that have great need for some sustainable projects. In Guatemala we saw some beautiful landscape and saw a women’s co-op that helps dozens of women each day and then later that evening had dinner with a Pastor and his wife that have been working in that area for over 20 years. In El Salvador we checked in with Tia Ana, had a meeting with USAID and saw some family friends. It was fast paced but it felt very much like going home.
When you drill down on any of these relationships you see very vulnerable people. One family I know lost their son to gang violence. The two remaining kids are very vulnerable to violence themselves. They have tried to escape by coming to the US but don’t qualify for a visa. They can’t afford to move out of their current location. So they live in fear. Security is not guaranteed for them in any way.
It’s for families like this that we do what we do. Our goal is to work with them and others in the same communities to help them develop sustainable solutions. Working together they can take their neighborhoods back from the gangs. They can build options for the future of their children. They don’t have to live in fear. Our role is to help them identify what is needed and then help them develop sustainability. These problems didn’t develop overnight. They won’t be fixed overnight either. But we need to start the process. Let’s do this right, not fast.
As 2014 draws to a close, we at Amoveo Group have much to be thankful for…
- Our Numerous Financial Supporters.
- Our Volunteer Corps of Eric Smedberg and Joe Pritchett.
- Our International Consultant Team of Pete Brokopp, Robert Sanou, Bill Lobbezoo, Jean Wilgard, Rick Romano, Matilde Romero, Gabriela Saez Capo and Ed Kratz.
- Our Partner Organizations that have gone all in for our Collective Impact Initiatives – Grain of Hope, Journeyman International, Engage Burkina, Wine to Water, Global Assistance and First Solar.
As part of our 2014 Year-End Review, we wanted to share with you what God accomplished through Amoveo Group and those listed above in 2014.
- 15 children received gifts for Christmas at Tia Ana’s Place, operations finances were donated to uphold current infrastructure and a long-term sustainable plan for the ministry was birthed.
- 190 thousand dollars raised for Collective Impact Initiatives around the world.
- 5 major projects with sustainable design and construction methods unleashed
- 14 Acres of land purchased and water well installed for a future Agriculture Center in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.
- 40-foot shipping container holding 150,000 + high nutrient meals and the solar panels that will power the Medical Center in Bobo-Dioulasso was sent and received!
- 450 solar panels donated for the work in Burkina Faso
- 5 villages in Burkina Faso engaged in Amoveo Development Assessments as part of the 120 by 2020 Vision and another 3 in Cambodia.
- 6 Collective Impact Initiatives launched in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cambodia/Thailand, Burkina Faso and El Salvador
- 25 partners enlisted for Collective Impact Initiatives around the world
Would you consider a year-end gift to make 2015 an even bigger impact year for us?
This is part of an update from Gabi Saez, an Amoveo ministry partner. Check out our project tab HERE to see how Amoveo is coming alongside Tia Anna to make her dreams come true and be sustainable.
I spent my last weeks in El Salvador spending as much time as possible with Tia Ana at her house. I stayed there a lot the last two weeks I was in town. Often times there is so much chaos going on there that one would think that you’d get tired of being there but I found out one day when I asked the Lord to give Tia Ana patience and myself as well so I could help her help these kids and in that moment one of the small children came looking for me and I just looked at her and asked her for a hug as I picked her and she very gently hugged me and gave me a kiss and just sat there in my arms as we looked out to the view of a coming storm and the mountains around. I began to speak to her about the beauty of God and told her that God made all of that and that He made her. She responded as any small child would, she just smiled and giggled. In that very moment I understood a little more the beauty of God and how he cares for each of us even in our weak moments when we just want to get a breath of fresh air. God knew what I needed to keep going… a hug and kiss as a reminder of his love not only for me but for each child here at Tia Ana’s. God has a plan for these kids, each of them and for Tia Ana.
Much of who we are and why Amoveo Group exists can be explained by an incident that happened in a village in western Burkina Faso several years ago. Robert Sanou’s local development non-governmental organization (NGO) was recruited by a large western aid organization to pass out millions of mosquito nets to rural villagers as a means to curb Sub-Saharan Africa’s number one killer, malaria. Finishing up the distribution in one village, Robert walked into a courtyard and handed a father the mosquito nets that were allotted for his family. As he did this, the man’s severely malnourished daughter scooted up to her father and asked if he had told Robert that they had not eaten in 2 days.
120 BY 2020 INITIATIVE – Amoveo is launching a bold initiative in Burkina Faso starting this year. We dare to dream that with God’s help and the help of our network partners, we can set the course for an all-inclusive development revolution in 120 village communities by 2020. Through local and regional projects it is our desire to take these communities from surviving—for instance, providing mosquito nets alone—to thriving, meeting all of their basic needs.
While we envision a day when we will become sustainable ourselves, the current reality is that we are in a start-up phase. Our dreams are big, but our resources are limited. To turn these dreams into reality, we are launching our SUMMER 2014 CAPITAL CAMPAIGN. This campaign begins July 4th (Independence Day in the U.S.) and runs through September 1st (Labor Day). Our goal is to raise $150,000 (USD), which would allow us to focus fully on the project and plans for the upcoming year. The progress we make on these will enable us to market ourselves to future donors, grantees and investors, creating a viable and sustainable organization that will achieve our goals for the future.
There are several ways you can help us in this effort:
- Invest financially online at HERE or by mail, making checks payable to Amoveo Group and sending them to P.O. Box 1692, West Chester PA 19380.
- Amoveo Group uses iDonate to facilitate gifts in kind. You can donate “things” ranging from vehicles (cars, boats, RVs, motorcycles, or ATVs) to jewelry to precious metals and commodities to computers and electronic devices to video game consoles to gift cards. Go to the DONATE Tab up top to do this.
- If you live in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington DC, Georgia or Texas, Ignite Stream Energy offers you the opportunity to switch where your power company gets their energy from with no cost or change in billing to you, yet it will provide a residual funding source for Amoveo Group. It only requires five minutes to make the request online. More about Stream Energy HERE !
- Our next Volunteer/Vision Trip , a seven-day experience where you can get a great, up-close view of how the mission of Amoveo Group is being lived out on the ground, is scheduled for early January to Burkina Faso. Go HERE for more Information.
- Recruit your church, small group, or small business to sponsor a piece of a village’s development plan. Click HERE to receive more information.
More than anything, we want you to know that we appreciate your involvement with and support for Amoveo Group. Without friends like you, our dreams, goals, and plans would be unattainable. Thanks so much.
The Amoveo Group,
Matt Peace, Director of Development
Tim Brokopp, Director of International Projects
Joe Pritchett, Director of Communication
Eric Smedberg, Operations Director
by Matt Peace, Director of Development
Among the ideas that inspired me to join the Amoveo Group team was that of Collective Impact. Developed at Stanford University by Foundation Strategy Group, Collective Impact adheres to these five principles.
The Five Principles of Collective Impact Success
Collective Impact is more rigorous and specific than collaboration among organizations. There are five standards that, when applied collaboratively, lead to meaningful results from Collective Impact:
1. Common Agenda: All participants have a shared vision for change including a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving said problem through agreed upon actions.
2. Shared Measurement: Collecting data and measuring results consistently across all sectors ensures efforts remain aligned and participants hold each other accountable.
3. Mutually Reinforcing Activities: Participant activities must be differentiated while still being coordinated through a mutually reinforcing plan of action.
4. Continuous Communication: Consistent and open communication is required among the various players to build trust, assure mutual objectives, and appreciate common motivation.
5. Backbone Organization: Creating and managing Collective Impact requires a separate organization(s) with staff and a specific set of skills to serve as the backbone for the entire initiative and coordinate participating organizations and agencies
The first principle, a common agenda, has had the greatest impact on me. I’m probably not any different from you. Most of you have likely experienced competitiveness in the workplace; people trying to get the advantage in order to do things their own way.
Collective Impact counterbalances that impulse. I have often wondered, “What if we all worked together on this project? Could we accomplish something that is better for everyone? What if that means working across organizational lines? What if it means someone else might get credit for the project? What if we could have a shared vision to bring the project to fruition?” As an example, I often ask my kids when they are arguing with each other, “Would you rather win the argument or accomplish the goal you are fighting for?” Many times they are not the same thing. It dawns on me that often times we are having the same disagreements professionally that my kids are having at home.
What if we were willing to come together to solve complex world problems? Could we see greater results? I believe we could.
Would you consider coming along on this journey with us?
by Tim Brokopp, Director of International Projects
Last week I had the chance to sit down with a pastor of a local faith community in New Jersey and share about Amoveo Group. I always appreciate these times because it is another chance tell the Amoveo story and discuss how any individual, network, or organization, including faith communities, can creatively get involved in our collective impact initiatives around the world.
Amoveo has something truly unique to offer each one who participates in our initiatives. Because we collaborate with multiple agencies to do holistic, or all-inclusive, development work, we have a “job” for everyone. SO:
1) Size does not matter. Amoveo leads by developing a common agenda or shared vision. Whether you are a faith community of 100 or 10,000; a non-profit with an annual budget of one hundred or ten million dollars; it does not matter. Every participant makes a difference.
2) Weaknesses are not hindrances. Amoveo leads by fostering mutually reinforcing activities. This means we coordinate efforts to maximize each entities strength allowing for weaknesses to be supplanted by someone else’s strengths.
3) Impact is bigger. Amoveo leads by bringing together individual entities to collaborate for maximum impact. The individual’s efforts collaborated with many others results in huge impact.
So what this means for a small faith community in New Jersey, is that they can uniquely and personally participate in an initiative that will maximize everything they bring to the table for extraordinary results that they would never be able to achieve on their own.
Please contact Matt Peace (firstname.lastname@example.org), our Director of Development, if you, your network of friends and acquaintances, or an organization in which you participate want to make a profound difference in the world
This is the first post by Matt Peace. It was Matt’s vision that initially launched Amoveo Group.
While I was growing up I never thought I would work in international development. I had no dreams of visiting places around the world an understanding the need of people who lived in those places. I really didn’t even know there was need—at least not the way I now know it exists. All that to say, I don’t know how I got involved in this world but I am sure glad that I did.
In this new role with Amoveo Group I am learning so much. We have partnered with over 20 organizations to bring a Collective Impact to Burkina Faso. Our vision is huge: 120 villages in six provinces with a sustainable future in education, health, community development, spiritual life, sustainable living and economic development! This is much bigger than any one organization can accomplish. It is far more than any government grant can pay for. It blows away any investment any one business can make to enable change. If our vision is to become reality, it will take all of us and each of us working together.
I want to invite you to join us. There are numerous ways to enact change, and I would love to share with you some of the steps Amoveo Group is taking to make this change happen. You can then become an informed, engaged, and energized part of the answer to the problems in the world. Together we can do big things.
We are launching our blog with this poignant observation from Tim Brokopp, Amoveo’s Director of International Development.
Last Thursday in Grove City, Pennsylvania, a group of people who have been tracking with our Agriculture Center project gathered to put together a proposal. The proposal was for their Burkinabe counterparts to review, critique, contextualize, update and finalize for the master plan. Among those present at the meeting were two international development workers, an agronomist who is also a local church pastor and former international worker, and a Pennsylvania farm bureau employee with a masters in agriculture economics, and a denominational leader who has a passion for aquaponics. All ages, walks of life and hair coverage but one mission – to develop a model of agriculture that creates a self-supporting center where people from the region can be mentored and coached in these practices in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. I observed several incredible things during my time with these exceptional people:
ENCOURAGEMENT: One of the members came into the meeting having picked up an illness from a recent mission trip and was really discouraged. We stopped what we were doing and prayed for him. It was clear that this had a profound impact on him.
EDUCATION: During the meeting, thoughts and ideas are shared from each other’s personal experience. On multiple occasions, members learned new insights that could be applied to their own fields of expertise.
SHARED RESPONSIBILITY: As the backbone organization for this project it would be impossible to do all the work. At the end of the gathering, each person took on the tasks that were relevant to his/her strengths and abilities. The result: a five-page document proposal, which arrived in my inbox in less than a week.
Good things happen when people coordinate their efforts and work together around a clearly defined goal.