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self development of people
Workers were busy Thursday morning at the Sandy Beach Women’s Cooperative in Hopkins Village, a coastal community in southeastern Belize. This was a big day, not only for the women-owned and operated restaurant, but for the country’s Departments of Agriculture and Cooperatives. The top official was paying a visit to meet with members of the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People.
The clouds opened up on Wednesday, dropping heavy rain and forcing members of the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People (SDOP) to huddle under a thatch roof to meet with Oscar and Maria Zuniga. The couple lives and works on their farm in southeast Belize and are recipients of grant funding from SDOP.
Belize has been described as a country of contrast. The Central American nation is bordered by Mexico, Guatemala and the Caribbean Sea. To the tourist, it is a beautiful vacation getaway with sandy beaches, abundant marine life and various cultural attractions. But members of the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People (SDOP) have found much more beyond this tourist image
The Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People (SDOP) approved grants in 2017 totaling $133,753 to fund six self-help projects in the United States and three in Belize. The national committee met recently to approve funding made possible through the One Great Hour of Sharing.
Presbyterian churches across the denomination will turn their attention to people and communities in need this spring. April 8 is Self-Development of People (SDOP) Sunday, an opportunity for congregations to focus on the work to help disadvantaged people and low-income community groups.
For almost a half century, Larry Low has been helping people and communities to become resilient. Ordained to the ministry in 1973, the retired social worker from Seattle has found purpose working through the Committee on the Self-Development of People.
The Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People has a long list of volunteers who champion the ministry’s mission. For the Rev. Johnny Monroe, it’s been a lifelong commitment.
“I guess I’m what you would call a cradle Presbyterian. I was born into Presbyterianism,” he said. “Back in the late 1800s after slavery, missionaries from the northern church established schools and churches in Sumter County, South Carolina, including the Goodwill Presbyterian Church and Goodwill Parochial School, where I grew up.”
The search for bodies and survivors continues in the Sierra Leone capital of Freetown following heavy rains, flooding and mudslides. More than 300 people are known to have died after walls of mud crashed into homes and businesses during the early morning hours on Monday.
The Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People has a long list of volunteers who champion the ministry’s mission. For the Rev. Johnny Monroe, its been a lifelong commitment.
Low income residents and immigrant communities in the Washington, D.C. area are getting help from a local non-profit, supported in part by the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People. ONE DC is working to improve social and economic equity by organizing, training and educating housing residents in Shaw and the District.