The Barefoot Guide to Mobilizing Religious Health Assets for Transformation

Paper: 978 1 85339 963 3 / $29.95
Published: December 2016  

Publisher: Practical Action
172 pp., 8 1/4" x 11 3/4"
b/w illus throughout

Series: The Barefoot Guide 3
Health, freedom and social justice cannot be separated. Anyone who loves a neighborhood, a nation or a small planet enough to work for its future, inevitably measures success by its health and well-being. Health is one way to describe our capacity to be alive and to play our role as members of families and neighborhoods, indeed as citizens. How long do the neighbors live, and with what degree of freedom from the burden of illness? Do they have water, food, shelter and access to medical services? How does one choose life for the community? How do we as leaders make sure that our lives are about life and health?

The journey this Barefoot Guide will take you on is a response to those questions. The connection between religion and public health is important. For example in Africa, depending on the country, anything between 20 and 70% of public healthcare is delivered through religious institutions or groups. This BFG focuses on understanding and working with that reality. Religious assets for health are everywhere, they matter to a lot of people, and they can be mobilized for the health of all.

It has chapters on: thinking differently about the health of the public; revisiting the history of the link between religion and public health; working with and mobilizing religious health assets; supporting the "leading causes of life"; understanding "health worlds" and the strengths of "people who come together"; boundary leadership; thinking about systems; and "deep accountability."

The Barefoot Guide 3 explains how you can use these ideas to take up the challenge of health in your own communities -- whether you consider yourself especially religious or not. It is an invitation to take a journey, one whose goal is a better life for all.

Table of Contents:
1. Thinking differently about the health of the public
2. We want our history back!
3. What we have to work with
4. Leading causes of life
5. Finding health
6. Strengths of people who come together
7. Boundary leadership
8. Thinking about systems
9. Deep accountability

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Reviews & Endorsements:
"The Barefoot Guide Connection has a unique and truly transformational approach to collaboration, learning and facilitating social, transformational change across borders."
- Tobais Troll, Director, EDGE Europe at EDGE Funders Alliance, Brussels, Belgium