Emproving the Quality of Aid Projects
B e r l i n – How can the quality of Christian aid projects be further improved? Fifteen participants dealt with this issue at the first training session for project management ever sponsored and organised by European Baptist Aid (the Consortium of several mission and aid agencies) and the German Federation of Evangelical Free Churches “German Baptist Aid”. The training days were held at the Baptist educational centre in Elstal near Berlin. In January 2008, the Concortium had decided on the necessity of these training sessions, which were attended by delegates from Belarus, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Romania, Russia and Iraq. All of these countries are already running Baptist aid projects or are planning to start one.
Trainer Rupen Daas (Mississouga/Ontario) from Canadian Baptist Ministries emphasised the necessity of investigating and analysing human need as precisely as possible during the planning stage of a project. When one knows exactly where the problem lies, aid measures can be planned much more accurately.
Rev. Piotr Lunichkin (St. Petersburg), who is responsible for the social projects of the Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists, stated: “I have understood that the sustainability of aid within a given social context is vital.” He commented that until now, projects mainly focused on the short-term relief of human suffering. Helle Liht (Prague), the EBF staff person responsible for EBF aid projects, highlighted in an interview with European Baptist Press Service (EBPS) the necessity of such training seminars. “Many of our people are good at evangelising others. But it is also important to confront suffering in the name of God.” More training seminars are planned for the future.
Additional support will be needed in order to hold further training sessions. Gunnar Bremer (Brackenheim), the designated head of German Baptist Aid, explained: “Such educational projects are indeed less spectacular than the meeting of concrete need, yet in the long run, they promise to significantly improve projects.”