REAP’s focus is on the rural poor, who have some land but many mouths to feed from a small plot. REAP develops practical teaching of what the rural poor can do from within their own resources, and particularly family labour. REAP has therefore developed a focus on practical technology that requires little or no cost.
REAP is a registered trust committed to distinctively Christian teaching that is developed specifically for the benefit of the rural poor in eastern Africa.
REAP works mainly with and through Christian churches and para-church organisations, by facilitating them to develop a holistic teaching ministry. It has four main ways of working:
- training and workshops on Bible based rural extension.
- advice and consultancy, focusing on Christian rural extension projects and approaches relevant for the rural poor.
- collection and provision of information for helping with practical advice.
- writing and production of teaching materials specifically relevant to the rural poor.
REAP facilitates ministry to the poor in a manner based on Christian values. It reflects Biblical principles, respects human dignity, highly regards the talents and gifts of local people, values the whole person, places high priority on communal participation and also successfully applies the self propagation principle of church planting to rural development.
Many people who start wanting to help the rural poor end up helping higher economic groups because they do not have the ideas that are relevant where the poor are. The rural poor are generally characterised by those who have a relatively large number of people to support on a small or otherwise relatively unproductive piece of land. This means that they do not have much money available but do have labour available.
In REAP we look for ideas that are relevant for the rural poor and if necessary adapt them so as to make them more accessible. In practice much existing teaching, especially in agriculture, seeks to replace labour with a purchased input. In our teaching we tend to reverse this trend.