In Bangladesh, many of the children who attend child development centers come from families stuck in poverty.

Most of their parents work as day laborers, a job that’s inconsistent and unsustainable. They have to spend what little they make on things their families need to survive, and often it still isn’t enough. There is no way to save, and certainly no way to plan beyond each day.

Why economic development?

Without opportunities for stable income, life can become focused only on survival. It isn’t wondering how to pay for school, but rather wondering how to get enough food. The inability to work and save is more, too: it eats away at God-given dignity.

Around the world,

  • More than 700 million people live in extreme poverty, which means less than $1.90 USD a day
  • Poverty is multidimensional and has a generational impact
  • High poverty rates are often found in small, fragile and conflict-affected countries

With the belief that everyone should be able to dream of a future, Nazarene Compassionate Ministries in Bangladesh began addressing the economic needs of parents of children in child development centers.

They started self-help groups, which allow parents to save and give out small loans. Now, several hundred self-help groups across 76 child development centers are empowering people to move out of poverty. “We work very hard, but we are OK, and we have hope for the future of our children,” one member says. “Many of us did not go to school, but they will … ”.

How do economic development programs make a difference?

NCM partners with local churches to equip individuals and families to interrupt the cycle of poverty—and to enable parents to provide for their children with God-given dignity.

Together, Nazarene Compassionate Ministries and local Nazarene churches provides the following:

  • Job skills training
  • Vocational education and support
  • Savings groups
  • Help establishing small businesses
  • Seeds and techniques to produce higher crop yields

Stories of Impact

In the Montana region of northern Bulgaria, unemployment is high. Nearly 50 percent of the population has migrated out of the area looking for better economic opportunities, and in many families only the young and the old remain. The Montana Church of the Nazarene has a vision for the people of Montana and is working to offer training that allows individuals to see a future in their home country and home province. They have opened a business center where people can come to learn about the opportunities and resources already available to them. It’s also a place of fellowship, building community where there wasn’t one before.

Sergo Slavchevi was able to achieve his dream of owning his own land where he and his family could grow fruit and start a business. The center has helped them apply for subsidies and register with the government so the business can expand.

“ … I’ve had these dreams a long time, but I didn’t have the opportunity,” Slachevi says. “Now I have the opportunity.”

Burundi is a country that was torn apart by more than a decade of civil war and ethnic and political violence. The young people of the country were familiar with fear, but not peace. The Church of the Nazarene there started a peacebuilding project that encourages youth from different backgrounds to engage together by creating small businesses. The vision for the future is both reconciliation and economic stability.

Adere, a former soldier, helps run a small business that gives both income and meaning.

“Like many youth, I felt like I needed to have work,” he says. “It has kept me from being engaged in the crisis [and] losing hope. This program has given me hope.”

You can make a difference.

You can directly alleviate poverty through economic empowerment, which gives hope and affirms God-given dignity. Give now to support economic development through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries.