Enterprise: Finding ways to fund projects
by Lieut-Colonel Dan Starrett
American Salvation Army officers Lieut-Colonels Dan and Helen Starrett were appointed as International Enterprise Development Secretary and Associate Secretary respectively in 2002. Dan explains to All the World the basis of their work and the part it plays in helping The Salvation Army do ever greater things:
We are probably all familiar with the phrase: ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’
We in The Salvation Army’s International Enterprise section would like to add to the phrase and say, ‘Teach him how to sell fish and you help feed an entire village.’
The vision statement of the Enterprise Department is: ‘The exploration, identification, implementation and expansion of sustainable income generation projects that assist The Salvation Army in reaching its mission goals.’
Our appointment as Secretaries for Enterprise Development allows us the opportunity to assist and work with Salvation Army territories throughout the world to generate sustainable income necessary to reach their mission goals. Our department is grateful for ongoing financial support from The Salvation Army’s USA Western Territory.
A feeding programme in San Jose, Costa Rica,
which is able to grow thanks to new fund-raising ideas
There are many exciting and creative sustainable income-generating projects operating around the world. These projects are helping the local Salvation Army corps (church), institution, command or territory to raise desperately-needed funds.
The recurring theme we hear worldwide is that territories want to raise funds so they can become self-sufficient. There are many areas of the world that cannot operate without the valuable and much appreciated help they receive from International World Service and Self-Denial funds and support. Yet often these countries are searching for ways to improve local income-generating ideas so they can meet the challenges for the future and become self-sufficient.
We have been privileged to visit many projects during the last year. For example, at a pig farm in Costa Rica they raise pork to sell to local markets. The income generated helps to support the alcohol and substance abuse programme for teenage boys located at the site.
One young man told us he did not know what would have happened to him if The Salvation Army did not have this place for him. He said, ‘The Salvation Army saved my life.’
His story can be repeated in institutions throughout the Army world. If The Salvation Army in Costa Rica had the funds to increase the size of the pig farm, they would be able to almost completely meet the financial needs of this alcohol and substance abuse facility. Outside funds they currently rely on could go to other local programmes serving desperate human needs.
Thrift stores in Finland – run by the Finland and Estonia Territory – are growing and improving. Ways are constantly being sought to make them more efficient, effective and profitable. The people in charge of the stores continue to improve processing operations, increase donation generation and develop schemes for the retail and export branches of the stores. They will reach their goals.
Finland has agreed to provide the material and ongoing management support for a new thrift store to be opened in Estonia. The store will help generate the operational funds needed for the recently opened Lighthouse residential programme. In this relatively new and redeveloping country the Army is providing a crucial service for homeless men. The message of God’s love and his redemption will be shared with this hurting and sometimes hopeless population.
the thrift store window in Helsinki, Finland
In Manila, capital of The Philippines, the development of a new fish farm will raise funds to help the many children’s programmes The Salvation Army operates there. We are also seeking methods to use local clothing and other donations to run garage sales and, in the future, a thrift store to raise additional funds. The Filipino Salvationists are hoping to begin their first sales in April this year.
There are other Salvation Army sections, such as the ARC (Adult Rehabilitation Centres) Command of the USA Eastern Territory, which are willing to supply clothing and other items for other commands in the world to sell. The USA Eastern Territory is assisting in the development of local markets in Latin America North through the development of thrift stores and bulk clothing sales.
We hope to be able to link the skill, knowledge and resources from one territory to another throughout the Army world. A wonderful worldwide system exists in The Salvation Army, and we must learn how to form better partnerships with each other to reach our mission goals.
The potential for these and other projects is limited only by our imagination. As we seek ways to explore, develop, expand and implement sustainable income generation projects, the possibilities are endless. Through the inspiration and leadership of the Holy Spirit, and in partnership with each other, we can learn together how to ‘sell fish’.