‘BACK TO MY ROOTS’ PROJECT
Impacting your community for the Kingdom
There is a common saying that ‘charity begins from home’. The scripture says, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power who went about doing good…”(Acts 10:38). Jesus, in his humanity, identified with his roots – Nazareth. He had a natural inclination to go back to his earthly roots to bless the people with his gift of grace and miracles; not because he must, but as a way to identify with the people, even though he was not initially accepted. For us also, it is important we identify with our roots by impacting our communities in specific ways that will make the people glorify God because of us.
I received understanding about Acts 10:38 which led me to appropriate the verse to myself thus: “How God anointed Joseph Ibekwe of Imo State with the Holy Spirit and with power who is going about doing good and empowering people; for God is with me”.
I realized that Jesus had done His bit and gone to heaven. It’s left to me to do my bit. To make this possible, God has anointed us to go forth and do things, even more than Jesus himself did, because He has gone to be with the Father. Therefore, as long as we live here, we have to work to do; and the power to do kingdom work is already available through the Holy Spirit. We need to give practical expression in our immediate communities the good work that we are called to do. Good work is not limited to preaching and teaching the word, but by being socially relevant. Being socially relevant is not just be seen as ‘nice people’, but as a strategy to attract the attention of the lost and to minister salvation grace unto them.
It is for this reason that Back to My Roots Project – BMR – is initiated as a practical dimension of Grace Ministerial Impact Association-. Each member of GMIA is expected to organize community impact projects in their community of nativity or community of residence in the city. BMR projects are a way to get our members to go beyond the usual way of preaching the word of God to practically touching peoples lives and impacting our communities in specific ways.
The aim is to help our members to re-connect with their roots through specific community benefit-projects. The project be implemented must have the possibility of self-sustenance. It must address specific problems, peculiar to the community where it is being implemented.
BMR Project is hosted in the name of the GMIA member who wants to carry it out, while GMIA members help with the implementation by way of physical presence, skills supply, and financial supports. GMIA as a Group, provides the platform for members who want to carry out this project in their community, but do not have the platform to do so. Other GMIA members will be expected to support other member’s project with their skills, physical presence and relevant resources, on a personal basis. In order words, GMIA members will not be levied to support BMR projects, but individuals are encouraged to support whichever member’s project that appeals to them.
The Months of August – December every year is designated as Back to My Roots (BMR) Months. During this five-month period, GMIA members who intend to implement any projects of their choice in their community are expected to go ahead and implement it.
In order to facilitate and coordinate all BMR projects, members interested in carrying out a BMR project are to submit their projects to GMIA Officers in charge of Community Impact Projects (CIP), from the months of February to June. The submission is to allow tracking and mobilizing of support from members for the project.
Sample Projects for BMR.
There are different kinds of issues that someone may decide to pick up for BMR project, depending on the community and the capacity of GMIA member. The truth is that every community is unique and has peculiar challenges. There is no limitation to what can be done, however the following are sample of project ideas that could be explored.
Some projects include:
- Hold extramural holiday classes for students.
- Hold vocational skills training for women or youths
- Organize Entrepreneurship training for youths with possibility of providing seed money for business start-up
- Organize medical outreach.
- Gather and distribute relief materials to the local poor including food items, bags, shoes, clothes, etc.
- Construct a bore hole in a community.
- Gather books and donate them to your local community library to encourage reading.
- Start a computer training centre
- Organize leadership training and mentoring program for young people in the community.
- Engage the youths in community revitalization activities like cleaning and greening community spaces, etc.
- Start an Adult Literacy Centre in the community.
- Hold Inter-denominational Ministerial Capacity building for local Pastors in the local Community
- Start a Sports Club for Youths in the Community.
Guide to Implementing BMR Projects
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to implement your BMR project. The steps are not mutually inclusive. Some steps may not be necessary, it all depends on you.
- Needs’ Assessment stage. You may need to visit the proposed community and interact with some of the people to find out what kind of challenges confront them, and which ones they consider urgent.
- Project Identification stage. Prioritise the issues, challenges or needs you observe. Decide which one you can confidently carry out at the moment, based on your knowledge, expertise and resources.
- Project Planning Stage. Design and begin to plan how to implement your project. At this stage you should be able to answer the following questions about your project: What is the purpose? What are your objectives (what do you intend to achieve?) How will the project help the community? How long will this project last in implementation? Is it going to be a one-off or an ongoing project? What resources would you require for the project take-off? How would you secure these resources?
- Project Costing. Create a Budget. Make sure you do a proper costing of your project and be prepared to spend a little more than what you budgeted because of exigencies. Take note of everything that could cost money. Some other things may not require cash, but would require human activities – direct labour contributions.
- Advocacy Stage. You may need to visit some key leaders in the community to explain to them how your project will help the community. Such leaders include traditional, religious, women and youth leaders. The kind of leaders to be visited depends on the nature and magnitude of your project. This visit could also help you to get key stakeholders in the community to buy-into and support your project.
- Resource Mobilization Stage. Begin to mobilize resources for your project. There are different kinds of resources: human, material, financial and spiritual. You will need volunteers with different expertise to help you with the project. GMIA members will be first line of volunteer supporters.
- Implementation Stage. Go ahead and begin the physical implementation of your project. Make sure you keep record of your activities – photos, videos, etc, for documentation. You will need the information some day.
- Celebration Stage. Once you have completed the project. Celebrate the work. Invite friends, community leaders, the press, if possible. You may need to spend some money for this celebration. Celebrate the team that worked with you.
- Project Evaluation Stage. Once the project is completed, carry out a post-project review to see what worked, what did not work, and what can be improved upon in the future.
NOTE: At every stage of the project implementation, we must remain sensitive in the Spirit and prayerful. Remember that, for whatsoever good that you want to do, there will always be the “Sanballats and Tobias” that will seek to talk you down, talk you out, discredit you and distract you. Don’t give them a place. Focus on the work and get it done as unto the Lord and for the benefit of the people you have identified.
All BMR projects are under the supervision of GMIA’s Community Impact Project Officer.
GO AHEAD AND HAVE A GREAT BMR PROJECT!
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