Novō is a new charity which is dedicated to pursuing a singular vision – the vision of creating transformational communities in developing nations where hurting and broken people can find healing, wholeness and hope.
The first-step to fulfilling this vision will be to pioneer the first Novō community in Bolivia. This will be a pilot project. Once a sustainable and replicable Novō community is established our aim is to ‘give it away’ using a community-franchising approach and with the goal of seeing it replicated 30, 60 or even 100 times.
We want to support the Church in developing nations to respond to its own sense of calling by providing them with the start-up resources, training and support needed to launch and sustain a transformative community.
IS NOVŌ NEEDED?
There is a pressing need for Novō. Addiction is a global epidemic and the need for residential communities, where healing and restoration can take place, is increasing year by year. Throughout the developing world many churches want to respond to the needs of the hurting and broken people and are looking for those with experience and expertise who support them to make their vision a reality.
Why is addiction a growing issue? The developing world is experiencing rapid social change (population growth, urbanisation, migration, family breakdown) and with it a growth in social problems such as sexual abuse, prostitution, child neglect.
These problems leave individuals with huge deficits in terms of their sense of security, significance and self-worth – problems to which the abuse of substances provides a temporary, but ultimately enslaving, solution.
Bolivia is an incredible country, a place of breathtaking scenery and engaging people, a place of fascinating natural and human diversity. It is also one of the poorest countries in Latin America and one of the most unequal countries in the world.
- In 2012 UN Human Development Index (HDI) value positioned Bolivia at 108 out of 187 countries and territories, a rank it shares with Mongolia.
- According to the UN only Colombia, Namibia, Botswana, Haiti, Angola and Comoros are more unequal than Bolivia.
Bolivia is also the world’s third largest grower of the coca leaf, the raw ingredient of Cocaine, and a centre for its production. Though cocaine itself is too expensive for many Bolivians, a form of crude cocaine called Pitillo is widely abused – as are alcohol, marijuana, and solvents.
“Essentially a chemical waste product, [Pitillo] is what remains from the narco-kitchens producing cocaine bound for US and European markets… Addictive after one or two hits, the drug systematically destroys the nervous system. Users quickly become skeletal and ravaged, resorting to crime, violence and prostitution to feed their habits…” The 10p cocaine by-product turning Argentina’s slum children into the living dead, The Observer, 21st February 2010
Those who work on the ground in Bolivia with gangs, addicts and street children confirm that the drug and alcohol problem is serious and growing. The Bolivian government is also aware of this need. In February 2012 Government Minister Carlos Romero spoke of “the urgent need to establish rehabilitation centres to deal with the proliferation of gangs of violent youths addicted to drugs and alcohol.”
Yeldall Manor has been providing residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation for nearly 40 years and is highly regarded around the world as a flagship Christian response to addiction. Novō communities will build on the Yeldall approach in ways which fit the cultural, economic and social realities of their particular context.
Crucially, Novō communities will have an income-generating core which will ensure that each project is financially sustainable. Each resident will receive one-to-one support and participate om interactive group work designed to give them an understanding of God, themselves, addiction, and relationships.
Novō communities will be marked by a number of qualities. They’ll be:
- founded on Christ.
- focus on the whole person.
- partner widely with local churches.
- communities of love and discipline.
- characterized by grace and truth.
- promote freedom and responsibility.