You Are A Changemaker: An Interview with Amy Ford
Flicking through the daily news channels, it’s quite easy to feel hopeless with what feels like constant tragedy all around. We sat down with Amy Ford from Christian charity, Tearfund to discuss the feeling of hopelessness, poverty and how you can make a significant difference within your sphere of influence.
Tell us a bit more about what you do at Tearfund?
At Tearfund, we are really passionate about ending poverty all around the world. I have the absolute joy of connecting people who are really passionate about seeing God’s heart for justice and connecting them to the work that Tearfund does through events and building communities for people to connect.
So what does the word ‘Influence’ mean to you?
I always think about the idea ‘spheres of influence.’ So often, we can feel so small in comparison to the problems that are in the world. We all have a platform in which we can bring real change, whether that be lifestyle, our network, our gifts or generosity. I think so much about that is stepping into where God has placed you and making a change.
“Poverty is not just a lack of things. Poverty is about broken relationships with ourselves and wider creation.”
What is the greatest impact that you have seen in your line of work?
I get to see it on different levels. I travelled to Myanmar for work to visit some of the communities that have been impacted by Tearfund. We went to places where people were living healthier lives due to better nutrition. We also saw people setting up businesses and sending their children to schools which is really amazing. I have also seen the impact that the journey has had on people here in the UK as well, seeing their lives enriched through their giving and generosity - bringing change through that.
What are the sort of barriers and challenges people in the developing world are facing? In what ways can people help?
The biggest thing is changing mindsets and how we address the causes of poverty. Poverty is not just a lack of things. Poverty is about broken relationships with ourselves and the wider creation. The challenge is not to come in and give people stuff because that is not going to solve the root cause of poverty. We need to come alongside people to heal those relationships with one another and themselves. This will enable them to discover what is within can facilitate growth. From there, people can stand strong.
“We all have a sphere of influence in which we can bring real change, whether that be lifestyle, our network, our gifts or generosity.”
In the work that you do, have you ever questioned your own belief in God?
I don’t think I have. At Tearfund we see the harsh reality of poverty and disasters. But I also see our country directors and supporters, who are on the ground with so much faith and the heart for generosity. Those things are faith building. Even when things are going wrong in the world, it encourages me that God is present and that He cares through humans. People coming together and building His kingdom, I think that is exciting!
What is one action that you believe everyone can do to make a change in the world?
There’s a message, ‘Do what you can, with what you have, where you are’. We can all do something in where we are. What desire or causes that you feel strongly about? What is the vision that you have? What are the gifts and talents you have and how can you use those to make change? You can be passionate about the environment, change your lifestyle on how you use plastic. Or it could be generosity and getting involved in community/charitable projects. All of these things bring change. I think God puts us into places where we can be using our various gifts by taking the little bit of talent we may have to help others around us in need.
Follow Amy on Instagram at @helloamyford
Words by Rochelle King
Photography by Yasmin Rona