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Study: Churches generate significant benefits in lower-income countries

According to a recent study, churches’ efforts to engage with their local communities result in a social return on investment that is 28 times higher. The study was conducted by the consulting agency State of Life, on behalf of Tearfund. As per the study, a £1 investment in communities facilitated by local churches has the potential to unlock an additional £7 worth of time and resources, leading to the creation of £211 in social value. This translates to a social return of 1:28. The study analyzed the impact on communities in low-income countries across Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Tanzania and Sierra Leone, which are part of Tearfund’s investment and training programs.

Christian Today reports:

A new study by Tearfund has found that the outreach of churches in their local communities leads to a social return of 28 times the level of investment.

The study found that every £1 invested in communities through local churches unlocked a further £7 of time and resources, generating £211 in social value – or a social return of 1:28.

The study was carried out by the State of Life consulting agency on behalf of Tearfund and surveyed the impact on people living in communities across Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zimbabwe that engaged with Tearfund’s church training and investment programmes.

The study received 8,000 survey responses showing that people in these communities were 62% more likely to invest in assets like animals, land, a house or business, than communities that did not have any church-led training or investment.

They were 51% more likely to have the same or higher earnings than last year; 45% more likely to feel that people would be there for them if they needed help; 26% less likely to have a member of their family miss school; and 26% less likely to have gone without enough food.

The study also found that the impact was long-term and sustainable, as the wellbeing of people remained significantly higher even five years or more after the initial training and investment.

Read the full article here

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