What is a Strategic Partnership?
It is easy to become overwhelmed on the mission field, especially when you think you are all alone. The truth is that no one can do it all.
During a recent water system installation trip to a village in Haiti none of the villagers seemed to care, even though the trip had been planned in advance. The team leader asked what was going on. Here’s what the translator discovered: “We haven’t eaten in over a week.”
It’s hard to care about water quality while starving to death. The explanation lies in Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs:
In this case our team members pooled their money to buy fifty pound bags of beans and rice. First things first! A couple days later the villagers were ready to install the purifier.
That’s the way it goes on the mission field. Sometimes what is needed most is not what we expect. SWT is really good at water. We are really good at teaching community health and hygiene. But we are not agriculturalists, nutritionists, or doctors. Clean water is powerful medicine, but it does not cure all ills.
So how does SWT help a community with unanticipated needs?
In the short term we improvise. In the long term we try to mobilize people who can help. The challenge is always to deliver the right resources to the right people at the right time. That’s what we mean by strategic partnerships. Working together we can be better stewards of our resources.
Some of our Strategic Partnerships: