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WE ASK, "HOW DO WE ALLEVIATE POVERTY?"
But the real question is, how do people create prosperity for their families and their communities? The purpose of this series is to encounter our brothers and sisters in the developing world not merely as people in need, not as aid recipients, not as charity projects, but as human beings created in the image of God and endowed with His divine creative spark. It's time to change. Let's shift our focus from aid to enterprise, from paternalism to partnerships, from poverty alleviation to real human flourishing.
RETHINK POVERTY — 6 EPISODES TO JUMP-START THE CONVERSATION
- Charity that Hurts [25:25]
- The Entrepreneurial Calling [26:46]
- Justice for the Poor [26:58]
- Circles of Exchange [28:16]
- The Power of the Gospel [21:26]
- Churches, Communities and Culture [23:40]
BRING POVERTYCURE TO YOUR COMMUNITY TODAY!
Already slated for programing for organizations, universities, and conferences around the country and abroad, the series is perfect for schools, churches, and small groups of all shapes and sizes. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or if you'd like to invite us to speak at your upcoming event.
Find PovertyCure on Facebook and join the half a MILLION people (and counting) rallying around these ideas. Bring your organization along as well. Our Partner Network is comprised of 230+ international partners spanning 143 countries (and counting). This program is a perfect pivot point for those interested in aligning their passion for development with their appreciation for economics, entrepreneurship, and a Christian understanding of the human person as made in God’s image with His divine creative spark.
"There is no better resource for churches and individuals who want to make an impact on poverty than the PovertyCure DVD Series. Calling us to consider root causes of poverty, the PovertyCure curriculum helps us to identify our role to bring about lasting change, dignity, and eternal hope to individuals living in poverty around the world. Watch this series and be inspired by solutions that actually work."
— Peter Greer, President & CEO of Hope International (Pennsylvania)
"A "must watch" for any community wanting to help the poor. This series is sure to become a staple for small groups seeking how to better help poor communities in real ways. This should be a prerequisite for any NGO, missions group or aid organization before they try to 'help.'"
— Shelley Clay, Founder of The Apparent Project (Haiti)
"Trillions of dollars in aid has resulted in little real progress over the last several decades. What we need today is a new paradigm for fighting poverty. A paradigm rooted in the ideas and practices that release the poor from their circumstances. PovertyCure leads the way in teaching leaders and aid organizations how to design, implement, and measure real poverty solutions. As the CEO of an organization that uses aid as one way to alleviate poverty, I am excited to use the PovertyCure principles with our staff in nine countries. The principles of economic empowerment and local ownership have the power to transform a generation currently stuck in poverty, and partly kept there because we have continued to promote aid instead of true poverty solutions."
— Tom Davis, CEO of Children's Hope Chest & Author of Red Letters – Living a Faith that Bleeds and Fields of the Fatherless
"Stellar presentation! For my friends and I it was an incredibly rewarding experience. So many students raved about how well done the video was and how it really inspired them to change their perspective on giving and focus more on empowerment of the poor."
— Meghann Bowman, Student at Taylor University (Indiana)
"Recently, there have been a number of important books that have began to shift action in the right direction, but nothing engages the intellect like the PovertyCure Series. I have found no better tool for understanding the `why' and the `how' than PovertyCure. It is a must see and must share for those who desire to make a significant impact. Whether you're a leader of a poverty-focused non-profit, missions group, food kitchen, or simply have a passion to make a difference, this series will be a game changer."
— Robert Mudd, COO of Children’s HopeChest (Colorado), Board of Directors for Orphan Care Alliance
"I'm tempted to say things about this series like: Its #Mindblowinglyawesome #giveittoeveryoneyouknow. But I'll hold back. It is incredible and allows the viewer to recognize how they (or we) often view the poor and enables us to see the creative potential of individuals to build community. It is a timely piece that viewers of all ages will value. It inspires the viewer's own creative potential to make a difference in his/her own community and enable discernment on how to most effectively make an impact. Buy one for yourself. Buy one for your community. And buy another for the random person on the street to whom you suddenly start sharing how awesome this Series is."
— Kelly on Amazon
"For once, a project that lets those on the front lines talk, those actually affected by poverty, and especially those who overcame it, who conquered it. It's the entrepreneur from Kenya, Brazil, and Indonesia who knows the real cure for poverty, not just the economist from the U.S., Switzerland, or Japan. Watch the series. It'll change your world!"
— Andreas Widmer, Entrepreneur & Author, The Carpenter's Fund (Boston)
"An amazing journey ... Michael Matheson Miller is one of the best thinkers and articulators I know when it comes to what makes persons and societies flourish."
— John Stonestreet, Speaker & Author for Breakpoint and Summit Ministries (Colorado)
"Just as the study of psychology turned on its axis from focusing on pathology to focusing on human potential, so the study and practice of helping the poor is turning, thanks to PovertyCure, from focusing on why people are poor to how and why people may flourish economically. The insights are stunning, as are the prospects for positive change, wherever the "powers that be" will focus on securing the environment in which people may flourish and then simply not get in the way of human initiative."
— Mark E Roberts, Associate Professor & Director, Holy Spirit Research Center at Oral Roberts University (Oklahoma)
"A real world answer to a real world problem. PovertyCure goes beyond traditional models of assistance. It recognizes the intrinsic relationship between economic development and the God-given dignity of the human person. If you're looking for a sustainable, Christian way to think about poverty, you've found it."
— Matt Leonard, Executive Director of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology
"Beginning to end, this series is phenomenal! I was so impressed with both the quality and the content. It's such a powerful thing to hear directly from local entrepreneurs who have ideas, innovations, and businesses of their own, speaking to people who have perceptions about underdeveloped nations that need to be broken. Congratulations to all of you on a fantastic product!"
— Chad Jordan, Cornerstone International (Oklahoma)
"Christians often mistake good intentions with actions that are unhelpful, even harmful. In no area is this more true than in how we address global poverty. The PovertyCure project combines good scholarship with biblical principles that will help us to create partnerships that really work. I am profoundly excited about this project and these new videos."
— John H. Armstrong, ACT 3 Network President & Author of Your Church is Too Small (Illinois)
"As one heavily invested in the theology of the marketplace and the business-as-mission (BAM) movement, I am excited about PovertyCure. With its close connection to the integrity and excellence of the Acton Institute, PovertyCure and its numerous affiliates are battling poverty at the ground level around the world. These efforts are, as Jesus read in the Temple, truly good news to the poor."
— David Doty, Research Participant at Lausanne Global BAM Think Tank (Atlanta)
For most of the last 100 years, the US has thrown money at the problem of poverty. And yet the problem of poverty around the world goes mostly unchanged. PovertyCure brings a refreshing and pragmatic approach to addressing the problem of poverty. Instead of focusing on the causes of poverty, Poverty Cure focuses on the causes of wealth and how to introduce those causes of wealth into areas stricken by poverty. I would recommend the PovertyCure DVD series to anyone who is concerned about people suffering from poverty and anyone who realizes that taking the same approach that we have taken for the last 100 years is only going to produce the same results.
— Toby Joplin, Vice President & CFO of RL Hudson & Company (Oklahoma)
"The PovertyCure DVD Series is incredibly informative, detailed, relevant, and moving. The data, organizational highlights, and interviews really bolster the material and make the point. As it relates to application, the content has caused me to pause in my approach to remember that poverty is local and global, and my thoughts towards developing countries also apply in my local city. I loved the reminder about all beings are image bearers of God and are creative, talented and entrepreneurial. The imagery, professionalism, and excellence shown throughout the series rounded out the full experience and drew me further in to the cause."
— David Price, Sr. Relationship Manager at Bellevue University (Nebraska)
"I really enjoyed the PovertyCure DVD series. I first watched it with my wife and kids and found that the stories led us (even our younger, pre-school aged children at a basic level) to have profound conversations about new ways in which we can help our communities near and far. After enjoying it with my family, I shared it with a group of 10 – 15 adults as part of a small group bible study. The members of this group included skilled tradespeople, business owners, truck drivers, farmers and professionals who have always had charitable and missional intent which have been expressed through the traditional modes of tithing, donations, mission trips, etc. The DVD series caused the group to reevaluate ways in which we try to “do good." After spending months (we re-watched some episodes to dive deeper) in the series, it’s safe to say that everyone in the group looks and thinks about charity in a new way with great hope and promise of a more profound and Christ-like impact on the world. I recommend the series with great joy and appreciation!
— Nicholas A. Reister, Attorney & Counselor at Law
Episode 1: Charity that Hurts [25:25]
A billion people around the world live in extreme poverty. For Christians, especially, addressing this problem is a nonnegotiable. Over the past several decades, extraordinary efforts have been made in the areas of charity and aid. Unfortunately, these efforts haven't always had the effects that were hoped for. Through our filming and research, we found story after story of charity that hurts. We came to wonder, are we truly helping people become self-sustaining, or have we created a poverty industry in which the poor stay poor and the rich get hipper?
Sometimes our good intentions have unintended consequences. This is why it isn't enough to have a heart for the poor; we must use our minds to unite our desire to help others with our knowledge of the social, economic, political, and spiritual foundations of human flourishing. We need unsimplify poverty and reflect with earnest on how we go about addressing these problems.
In this session, we will analyze the two major forms of international development assistance, private charity and government-to-government foreign aid, and hear what the indigienous leaders and recipients of such assistance have to say about it — the good, the bad, and the ugly.
People in the developing world are raising their voices calling for change. Will we listen?
Here's a sneak peek clip of Episode 1!
PovertyCure Clip: "Charity That Hurts" [Episode 1]
Episode 2: The Entrepreneurial Calling [26:46]
This session focuses on the entrepreneurial energy of persons living in developing countries. The much celebrated microfinance movement made for a wonderful beginning to a renewed focus on enterprise solutions to poverty, but we are reminded that real sustainable development requires a thriving middle class supported by job-creating SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), which play a critical and often overlooked role.
An authentic appreciation for the creative contribution of every human being necessitates a series reflection on some of today's policies that aim to undermine and even extinguish human potential. One grave example of this is the widespread implementation of population control policies by Western agencies throughout the developing world, despite resistance from indigenous leaders.
Here are some sneak peek clips from Episode 2!
PovertyCure Clip: "Eva Muraya's Story" [Episode 2]
PovertyCure Clip: "Microfinance" [Episode 2]
Episode 3: Justice for the Poor [26:58]
We focus a lot on the material differences between the so-called "rich" and the so-called "poor." We are inundated with news of the growing income gap and our brothers and sisters in the developing world are all-too-often defined by how many dollars a day they have in their pockets. But the real gaps, the real injustices, are the immaterial ones below the surface.
In this session, we dig into the foundations upon which prosperous societies have been built. We see how things like property rights and rule of law are essential and most often overlooked elements of development. The world's leading development experts Hernando de Soto, Muhammad Yunus, and Harvard’s Marcela Escobari join host Michael Miller, John Nunes (CEO of Lutheran World Relief), and Baylor’s Rodney Stark to explore the crucial importance of these foundations, as well as the spiritual dimension of these issues.
Here are some sneak peek clips from Episode 3!
PovertyCure Clip: "La Cava" [Episode 3]
PovertyCure Clip: "Social Impact of Private Property" [Episode 3]
Episode 4: Circles of Exchange [28:16]
"I'm frustrated with this idea that poverty means living on one or two dollars a day," says Andreas Widmer of the SEVEN Fund. "That's a very bad way to state the problem." In this session, we learn that one of the biggest things holding people back from prosperity is lack of access. Doug Seebeck provides a twist on the classic "teach a man to fish" idea explaining, "The poor know how to fish. They don't have access to the pond."
In this session, we look at Ireland as an example of what was once an extremely poor country that leapt forward when it connected itself to broader markets and put in place a system that encouraged entrepreneurship and investment. The session also explores both the opportunities and cultural perils of globalization. It looks at the tragic effects of the Western agricultural subsidies and dumping that result in the destruction of agricultural jobs in the developing world.
"In this rapidly integrating world," Doug Seebeck asks, "how do I best love my neighbor so that everybody has the ability to have what I have?"
Here's a sneak peek clip of Episode 4!
PovertyCure Clip: "Access to the Pond" [Episode 4]
Episode 5: The Power of the Gospel [21:26]
Peter Greer of Hope International opens this session with a story of how a change in the wallet is only one part of the equation. To affect real, meaningful change, we must also turn to God and the transformative power of the Gospel.
The session tells stories of Christians whose faith brought them through the most dire of circumstances. Immaculée Ilibagiza, who lost most of her family in the Rwandan genocide but learned to forgive while hiding in a tiny bathroom to escape the killers, speaks to the role of Christ in her journey. She and others, like Rwandan Anglican Bishop John Rucyahana, now help Rwandans heal through the power of forgiveness and the grace of Jesus Christ. Their lives illustrate the words of C.S. Lewis when he wrote, "those Christians who left the greatest mark on this world did so precisely because their minds were occupied with heaven.”
Here's a sneak peek clip of Episode 5!
PovertyCure Clip: "The Power of the Gospel" [Episode 5]
Episode 6: Churches, Communities and Culture [23:40]
Sustainable economic development requires a culture of trust, a culture that encourages sound ethical principles such as thrift, honesty, and charity, a culture that respects God's law, the dignity of the person, and the value of work. The Church, in its efforts to help people flourish, needs to ensure that the specific models and practices it puts into place actually prove beneficial in the long-term, not only in the material sense but also in the cultural and spiritual sense.
This session illustrates this by telling the stories of three overseas mission efforts, one that reminds materially impoverished churches around the world that they, too, are called to generous giving and stewardship, and two others that care for orphans, loving those who were left for dead and raising up young men and women to be productive stewards in their own right.
Here's a sneak peek clip of Episode 6!
PovertyCure Clip: "Cultures of Trust and Ethical Markets" [Session 6]
John Armstrong, Ntim Asamoah, Sister Agnes, George Ayittey, Bishop Hannington Bahemuka, Rudy Carrasco, Rev. Chanshi Chanda, Herman Chinery-Hesse, Marc Coleman, Paul Collier, Juan José Daboub, Theodore Dalrymple, Tom Davis, Hernando de Soto, Brett Elder, Marcela Escobari, Michael Fairbanks, Malik Fal, Declan Ganley, Stephen Grabill, Ebow Graham, Peter Greer, Samuel Gregg, Lord Brian Griffiths, Lydie Hakizimana, Peter Heslam, Marcos Hilding Ohlsson, Immaculée Ilibagiza, Kishore Jayabalan, C. Neal Johnson, Paul Kagame, Charles Mends, Eric Metaxas, Anielka Münkel, Eva Muraya, Janet Nkubana, Michael Novak, John Nunes, Joshua Omoga, Archbishop Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle, David Quinn, Carroll Ríos de Rodríguez, Bishop John Rucyahana, Joel Salatin, Ernesto Schargrodsky, Carl Schramm, Doug Seebeck, Rev. Robert Sirico, Rodney Stark, Kim Tan, James Tooley, Damian von Stauffenberg, Andreas Widmer, Muhammad Yunus
Michael Matheson Miller
James F. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Michael Matheson Miller
Michael Matheson Miller
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Marc Vander Maas
Michael Matheson Miller
Marc Vander Maas
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ADDITIONAL ANIMATION and GRAPHICS
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Bishop Hannington Bahemuka
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We are grateful to many people who helped us throughout this project. It would not have been possible without such generous assistance.
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MADE POSSIBLE WITH THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF...
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COPYRIGHT ACTON MEDIA 2012