In the magnificent castle-like Dickson villa, we met Lasse Svensson, church leader of a new community called Joint Future. The building which the brothers Dickson built in 1864 reflects the owners’ status and importance at that time in Gothenburg. The building, which was later purchased by the Methodist church, housed their pastor training. And now, it has been handed over to the new church. Lasse gave us a brief summary of his own role and the two other church leaders’ role in the Joint Future church. He presented himself as the spokesperson, Sofia Camnerin as the theoretician and Olle Alkholm as the person running the office in Alby.
We presented MSG’s work using pictures mixed with text in a power point and provided a description of our work in Congo Kinshasa. Based on our presentation we had a constructive conversation on how you can work in developing countries, and the issues you have to face. Some of the points we raised were:
- MSG’s role is to work as equals and communicate knowledge and experience in entrepreneurship, evaluation and assessment of business ideas and to arrange contacts with lenders who can lend on reasonable terms.
- MSG imports innovations and delivers knowledge about them.
- MSG is now invited by the government of Congo Brazzaville and have plans to take up consultancy, which mainly will be handled by the Congolese themselves.
- There are many examples in Africa that show that donations and grants do not create development. On the contrary, it may create begging and inactivity. It may even have deprived the Congolese of their ability to take initiative and make contributions to a positive societal development. Donations has created a dependency on the donor. Our goal must be not to deprive the Congolese of the joy and satisfaction of creating and building themselves.
- All help must lead to development. Development is when people locally through work and sacrifices generate resources and build a sustainable society that can meet people’s different needs.
- MSG contributes with innovations, knowledge and experience, ensuring that loans will be given to the entrepreneurs. The Congolese contribute with work, sacrifices and application. When the two parts interact, it creates results.
We hope that the new church will be willing to cooperate, that we will find ways to work together and that we both can benefit from each other’s work, experience and knowledge. The church in the Congo, CEC, is very important for us and we have a very good cooperation with them on all levels.
This day, we also had the privilege of visiting Majorna´s Mission Church where we met Deacon Margareta Björn whom we told about our work in Congo.