You have likely heard the phrase “give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.” Pacific H.E.L.P.S. is committed to teaching life skills to islanders that will allow them to become self-sustaining and equipping them to provide vital services to their community. “Life skills” refers to the skills that one needs to make the most out of their life. While life skills vary depending on one’s environment, there are three basic categories of life skills on which Pacific H.E.L.P.S. will focus.
Essential Life Skills
These are life skills that are essential for survival in the environment in which one lives. For inhabitants of many of the islands of the Pacific, essential life skills include cultivation, water purification, shelter construction, and disaster preparedness. Teaching these life skills presents unique challenges because of the extreme isolation experienced by many of those living in the Pacific. Basic resources for constructing shelters, collecting water, cultivating a sustainable food source, and preparing for disasters are not available. Teaching essential life skills requires a knowledge of the resources available to the inhabitants and how to best use those resources to support life in these remote areas. The Pacific H.E.L.P.S. team have lived and worked among these islanders for many years. The team has the knowledge and experience to train islanders to develop sustainable food sources, purify and collect fresh water, utilize available resources to construct shelters that withstand the environment, and to help islanders prepare for disasters that accompany typhoons common to the area.
Personal Life Skills
These are life skills that enable an individual to have confidence in themselves and to experience hope for tomorrow. Developing personal life skills requires that one evaluate the talents that God has given them and determining how to use those talents to be a productive member of their community. Each individual has been equipped by God to fulfill a role in the community in which they find themselves. Helping individuals discover those talents and the unique role they fill in their community instills self-confidence and worth. One’s spiritual health is essential in developing personal life skills. As one cultivates a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, one come to understand the power that is available through Christ and gains the confidence to fully utilize their talents. In addition, Jesus Christ provides hope in tomorrow regardless of the circumstances in which ones finds him or herself. Having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ gives one hope for the future regardless of whether that future is on this earth or in heaven with Christ forever. Pacific H.E.L.P.S. will focus on teaching personal life skills by first encouraging a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and then exploring the individual’s God-given talents and how to use those talents to contribute productively to their community.
Interpersonal Life Skills
These are life skills that we use every day to communicate and interact with other people, both individually and in groups. The culture that exists on many Pacific islands dictates how individual interact with one another. Pacific H.E.L.P.S. seeks to encourage individuals to become leaders in their community by employing interpersonal life skills such as problem solving, fostering peace within the community, and encouraging others while exhibiting Christian love for others. People lead by example. When individuals exhibit interpersonal life skills that edifiy the community, others will follow.