One of the key phrases during my management consulting days is “under promise and over deliver”. It is the concept of establishing reasonable expectations with a client and then perform the work in a way that exceeds those client expectations. The result is that the client is happy and the door is open to future work.
We conducted a meeting in mid-2022 with area village headmen (chiefs) and several Group Village Headman in the Chipolopolo village. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce Orphan Shade and our plans to rescue and raise local double orphans. Each headman had the opportunity to respond to our introduction and plans. Prince Kampomo refers to the individual responses as speeches (they are politicians after all).
Interestingly, we received clear warnings from all the leaders. The warnings were very clear and became repetitive. Below are several quotes (quotes are unedited):
- “Many Orphans organization have been coming here and promised and not delivering.”
- “Don’t make us excited and not fulfill”
- “The Muslims came started building but they run out of funds”
- “Another organization came but their building fall down without rain or strong wind”
- “Their cry particularly from the group village head-woman, as a mother I have been crying and asking, Why God could take the parents before children are grown. Today God has heard our cry that Orphan Shade Ministry is our mother to wipe our tears and give hope to the hopeless."
The fact that Chipolopolo was our second village meant nothing to the audience. Our experience in Pangeti did not gain us any credibility.
Their collective experience over the years has been that many NGO’s, churches and the government have made many commitments to address the “orphan problem” in their communities. Unfortunately, their experience is that none of these promises were ever delivered. They have been conditioned to disbelieve any organization that promises anything.
We resolved after this meeting that nothing we say will change their minds. The only thing we could do is deliver what we promised.
Five months later, a new home was sitting on the property. People in the village and surrounding villages were stunned. People would walk miles (kilometers) to get their picture taken on the veranda (front porch).
A meeting was held in the village with the same leaders as before. Prince did not have to say anything. The village headmen and the visiting Group Village Head women each gave a speech. Below are quotes taken from their speeches:
- “OSM is the first Orphan Organization in the area to promise and deliver”
- “OSM is the first Organization to start and to finish the project without breakdowns”
- “We are very thankful for the home, it is our golden gift for our children and the community”
- “OSM Chipolopolo village and surrounding villages is your home. Please feel at home here”
- “The star has been born to the Chipolopolo village and the surrounding villages. There is hope for our children”
- “We are confident that our children are in the right hands and their future is bright”
- “Please can you consider to build another home for boys. The population of orphans is great here”
- “Please extend our thanks and appreciate to Pastor Jay for keeping his promise”
- The Group Village Headman said: “OSM is the pride of his village, the failure of OSM is his down fall.”
There were several positive outcomes from successfully delivering the project. First, our new credibility opened the door to sharing the gospel with the leaders. The pastor from our partner’s church plant in the village introduced the gospel and invited the leaders to the village church.
Second, these same leaders invited several thousand people from the surrounding villages to attend the grand opening celebration. More than 300 people accepted Jesus as their Savior that day.
Third, the leaders were effectively enrolled as supportive stakeholders of the new Orphan Shade family in Chipolopolo. This will make them more likely to protect the and ensure safety for the family.