|BTCI announces Global Action Partnership|
|Tuesday, 21 July 2009 10:17|
Be The Change International (BTCI) hosted a dinner with the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend Dr. Rowan Williams, and other friends July 8 during the Episcopal Church's General Convention in Anaheim, CA to discuss the impending launch of the Global Action Partnership (GAP).
The partnership will be between BTCI, the Office of the Anglican Communion at the UN and the LBL Foundation for Children.
“We all have something to bring, we all have to teach a lesson to each other, then shape our partnership based on that,” said Helen Wangusa, Anglican Observer at the UN.
Everyone at the dinner was very excited and supportive of the GAP’s mission and potential, realizing that each partner has years of success to bring to the table.
PHOTO: From the left, the Rev. Dr. Robert Lee, Helen Wangusa and Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend Dr. Rowan Williams.
“In our many years of trying to bring about social change in core-city Jacksonville, Florida, we’ve learned that to create community-wide change, multiple social factors need to be addressed simultaneously,” said The Rev. Dr. Robert Lee, founder and CEO of BTCI. “The 6-Point Community Initiative in Jacksonville has been very successful and we want to take that concept all over the world.”
The GAP’s mission is to create a model that addresses the following areas of need in Africa, Haiti and other distressed regions by utilizing existing infrastructure and creating new partnerships: Safety and Security, Gender Equality and Family Values, Health Education and Care, Primary Education for All, Shelter, and Economic Development (by addressing environment and climate issues).
These six areas all interlock with each other; if one area isn’t addressed, action in the other areas can’t be fully effective. This makes the GAP different from other international initiatives, which usually only address one area of concern at a time.
The GAP’s model, called the Global Action Community Initiative (GACI), is also advantageous because it is easily custom-tailored to fit the unique sets of circumstances and needs of each community in which it is implemented.
“This concept is the way you get things done,” said Dr. Lee. “Small grassroots efforts are more effective in working with individual communities than large-scale efforts because they are able to customize and personalize their approaches and adapt quickly to changing needs.”
Wangusa agreed, adding that community involvement is a key to the GACI’s success.
“If the community is going to own this and be a partner in this, we have to be able to listen to things that are important to them and apply that,” said Wangusa.
The GACI would be most effective when supported and partially owned by the community in which it is initiated, according to Dr. Lee.
“If a community doesn’t want to help itself, you can’t force the help upon them,” said Dr. Lee. “We know that only when a community champions its own cause and takes ownership of the potential improvements can this be truly successful. We can see it happening in Jacksonville right now, and I have no doubt we’ll soon see it happening around the globe.”