Dependency versus Empowerment: Lessons from Bob Lupton


I had the pleasure to meet during two days this week with Bob Lupton, the author of Toxic Charity.

Bob has been such a pioneer in the world of Christian services worldwide. So many leaders now cite his teachings that to really help and support our brothers and sisters around the world, we have to support local programs without unintentionally reinforcing cycles of dependency.

Bob pointed out to those of us who were serving on a Christian non-profit board that if we provide the extremely poor with clean water, medical care, or food only, then you’ll have a lot of extremely poor people who continue to live longer in desperate poverty.

Wow. This only made me more grateful for my opportunity to work with Five Talents.

Empowerment through Graduation

The hospital I served in DR Congo in the 80’s is just as dependent now as it was then on outside assistance. By contrast, as I was sharing with our US Ambassador to South Sudan Saturday evening, there are more than 20,000 people in South Sudan who have “graduated” from Five Talents’ programs. These graduates have learned literacy and business skills and have created their own community savings groups and businesses. Each savings group and business are locally owned and managed. The graduates no longer receive any assistance from Five Talents, and yet they continue to grow their own businesses and savings.

Learn more about what graduation means for families and communities in South Sudan.

-Dale Stanton-Hoyle
Executive Director