Our Approach and Why It Matters

In a word, our approach is Community. Many big non-profits focus their efforts on a particular need and strive to fill it broadly by providing a resource whose absence they have identified as a persistent crisis throughout Africa, such as clean water or medical supplies. Love A Community flips this traditional approach by focusing on one community at a time. Our goal is to improve the community as a whole by providing, protecting, and enabling all of the essential resources its people need to thrive.

Love A Community is a different kind of non-profit, flipping the traditional approach of non-profits for Africa: Love A Community focuses deeply on a community, rather than broadly on a resource.

It is vital that organizations contribute resources to those who need it; but, once the resource is given, what happens next? Is it as effective as it should be, and for as long? Too often, the answer to these questions is “no,” because a community is like a living body — it is complex, with multiple systems which must all function well together. Trouble in one area bleeds into others. In the case of clean water, for example, a community could have a thousand wells; but if the community lacks an effective sanitation system or maintenance plan, they will not have clean water. A major non-profit may provide expensive, life-saving medical equipment to hospitals across Africa; but if the local hospital lacks clean water, many patients in that area will not want to go to the hospital for fear of risking further infection. The equipment provided by the first non-profit will then fail to reach everyone who needs it merely because of limiting local factors.

This is where Love A Community comes in.

Love A Community considers the community as a functioning whole. We engage with the community on every level, to problem solve and get to the root of whatever their challenges may be. Where needed, we partner with other organizations who provide a resource, and then we work with the community to ensure that those resources can be optimally utilized for decades to come.

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"In September 2013, I read an article in Uganda’s leading National Newspaper, The Monitor, that has forever changed my trajectory. Atutur hospital in Kumi district has been running with contaminated or no water for years. I took a risk to take this story as my own not knowing where I was going to get the finances or resources. I traveled to Uganda with a team, assessed the need, now we are back to share Atutur Hospital’s story.”
– Lydia Natoolo, founder of Love A Community

The Heart of Our Approach: The Community Hospital

Just as the body cannot live without a heart, a community cannot survive without a hospital. No matter where we live, we all depend on the nearest hospital for help and life-saving intervention. Unfortunately, not all hospitals have the resources necessary to deliver on these promises.

By beginning our relationship with the community at its hospital, we come into immediate contact with those upon whom the whole community most acutely depends. They know firsthand the most critical dangers which threaten their patients, neighbors, friends, and families.

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Our Process: Building Community through

Listening, Aggregating, and Providing

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STEP 1 : LISTENING

That’s the first thing we do when reaching out to a new population. We bring no preconceived notions or theories about what we think they need. We go to them, explore the places they show us, and discuss with them the challenges with which they feel they are struggling. Before we do anything else, we take the time to build community between Love a Community and the local population.

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STEP 2: AGGREGATING

Once we know what the hospital, and therefore the community’s most at-risk populations, really needs, we reach out to the global community, to connect those who are giving with those who are in need.  No two problems are the same; each challenge builds new partnerships, new relationships, and new community across the world. We continue to advocate for the community and work with providers until the hospital, and then the whole community, is equipped with all of the resources necessary to creating self-sustaining communities which support their people physically, socially, and economically.

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STEP 3: PROVIDING

Throughout the whole process of resource planning, provision, and education, we continue to act as a community advocate between the local community and resource providers. From bringing the community to the attention of providers, following-up at every stage of the providing process, to continuing to work with the local community in whatever capacity they require, no matter how small the local problem, Love a Community strives to ensure that every resource can be optimally utilized by the whole community, longterm.

Whenever possible, we hire local businesses and tradesmen to aid in the provision, construction, installation, and maintenance of infrastructure resources such as generators, solar panels, plumbing, and more.