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Cultivating Shalom through Sustainability

Cultivating Shalom through Sustainability

Leila, a single mother from the southern region of Tunisia, had a dream.

In the tiny one-bedroom home and adjacent patio that she shared with her two children, her blind mother, and her elderly father, Leila decided to raise livestock.

So, her dream began.

With the money from a small livelihood project fund, Leila bought 5 chickens, 2 ducks, and 3 rabbits. After selling eggs, some baskets hand woven on the concrete floor of the family room, and a few loaves of homemade bread, Leila used the additional money to expand her poultry business. Eventually, the rabbits and ducks were sold, and enough money was earned to buy a sheep.

In the end, Leila did buy a cow, her ultimate dream.

Livelihood projects decrease poverty, cultivate shalom, and promote sustainability.

Shalom means complete well-being physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

Indeed, “in the shalom reality of God’s kingdom, no one is in need” and, as we use our God-given talents and offer our work to improve communities, “we manifest the shalom of God.” - #BibleSDGs

What is our role in cultivating shalom?

IDEAS is a non-profit organization that works to bring about holistic transformation and restore hope in communities worldwide.

But IDEAS does not work alone; it partners with over 35 local organizations, all of which join in the longing to see the total restoration of humanity to its creator.

One of IDEAS' partners is ACT, a local organization in Tunisia. ACT has adopted a transformational development approach. This approach promotes the idea that development includes “positive changes in values, attitudes, and relationships” in order for communities to “move towards fullness of life with dignity, justice, peace, and hope.”

Because of the work of organizations such as IDEAS and ACT, women such as Leila experience dignity and hope as they manage to support themselves and their families, sometimes for the very first time.

"I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy." - Psalm 140:12

About the Author: Freddie is an IDEAS Associate who has spent the past 10 years in Tunisia where she worked with vulnerable populations before stepping into the role of Director of Finance in-country and abroad. Enjoy other blogs by Freddie, such as Transition and Transformation.