This page gives some general background on the work of Operation Agri.
What does OA do?
Operation Agri supports rural and urban development projects in three continents, attacking the basic causes of poverty amongst some of the least fortunate people in the world.
The projects provide local people with the means to address their own problems, rectifying injustice, establishing their role within the local community and responding to their aspirations for a better quality of life, physically, mentally and spiritually.
Considerable emphasis is placed on the development work fulfilling two criteria -
- it should be 'owned' by the local people, and - where possible it should be sustainable.
With its aim of "showing the love of Jesus in action", OA works with overseas partners who are linked with the national Church, in countries where this is possible.
OA's development activities include:
- Agriculture - Community health - Vocational training - Short term loans to encourage family businesses - Income generation schemes - Clean water and sanitation projects - Pre-school education.
Who runs OA?
Operation Agri BMM is a charity registered in England, no. 1069349. Much of the work is done by the officers and others, who give their time voluntarily, and who have development and/or overseas experience.
Operation Agri BMM was established by the Baptist Men's Movement (BMM) in 1961. The initial challenge to was to provide tools, livestock and equipment for agricultural mission workers, and Operation Agri grew out of this. Now, a wide range of development projects is linked with OA and support is largely given by the sending of grants rather than goods.
An aspect of OA's support which is widely appreciated is the close, personal link we retain with the projects and their local leaders, whom we regard as our partners.
How is OA funded?
Funds are given to OA by individuals and by local churches, mainly in UK. Much of this support - but not all - is from Baptists.
OA Partners are individuals who have pledged to give annually to the work. A simple Donation Form may be downloaded from this website. It is also possible to give to OA on-line by credit or debit card.
Many local churches have special events for OA, or give from their church budgets. Churches often support OA at their Harvest Festival. Each year OA launches its Annual Appeal with a pack of resources for churches to use.
A source of income of growing importance is bequests - from friends who include OA as a beneficiary in their wills. A suitable form of wording for inclusion in a will is available.
As a registered charity, OA benefits from the Gift Aid scheme, reclaiming from the UK Government income tax which donors have already paid on their gifts. A simple Gift Aid form which a donor must sign to allow OA to reclaim tax in this way may be downloaded from this website, and gifts made online may be Gift Aided at the checkout.
It is also possible, when completing your self-assessment tax return, to instruct that some or all of any refund of tax be forwarded direct to OA - quote reference GAK78YG.
OA's expenses are very low because so much of the work is done by volunteers. Thus OA is very cost-efficient, with the great majority of its income being spent overseas.
Operation Agri receives no central denominational funding.
How does OA decide which projects to support?
The projects OA supports are run by the national Churches in the countries concerned or by interdenominational mission agencies or umbrella organisations. In some cases oversight of the work is in the hands of missionaries - often linked to BMS World Mission. Visits to projects may be made by partner agency staff and occasionally by OA representatives.
These partners and managers put forward proposals based on local felt needs, with the underlying aims of advancing self respect, self motivation and self reliance.
Operation Agri examines all such proposals carefully, often requesting clarification of certain aspects and/or suggesting changes before it is agreed to provide funding. Six-monthly reports are required from the project plus annual audited accounts. Projects which are in the hands of overseas partners of BMS World Mission are assessed by a Development Committee (see below).
OA features news of these projects in its quarterly magazine "Outreach Abroad."
What is Partnership?
OA and BMS World Mission, as independent charities, work closely together to achieve common development aims, as a practical means of sharing Gods love in a world of need. The partnership between OA and BMS is informal and we remain separate organisations in terms of management and accounting.
Shared development aims are primarily achieved through projects, established and managed by overseas partner organisations, often part of a national Baptist church. These projects may be financially supported with grants from either OA or from BMS and, in some cases, BMS mission personnel will also be directly involved in a project. The assessment and monitoring of these overseas projects and the funding process is overseen by a Development Committee, including representatives from OA and BMS.
Beyond these shared 'development aims', the aims of OA and BMS may diverge.
We have produced, with the BMS, a list of useful resources for Partner organisations seeking to develop their capacity. Click on Developing Capacity to read this (it's a small pdf document), or left click if you want to download it to your computer.
Find out more...
Operation Agri provides information to supporting churches and individuals through its quarterly magazine Outreach Abroad which is mailed free on request. You can read back issues of the magazine on this website.
The Annual Appeal pack includes a resource book, a video, PowerPoint presentations or OHP acetates with script, a poster, leaflets for the congregation and gift envelopes. The resource book includes background information on a particular project, ideas for children and young people, worship and sermon ideas, recipes, etc.
You can see descriptions of the Projects that OA is supporting. The Presents booklet lists selected project needs with specific financial targets suitable for adoption by individuals, churches, youth groups, Sunday School classes, men's meetings, etc.
A general introductory leaflet is also available.
If you would like sample copies to be mailed to you, then please contact the OA Administrator: Rev Dr Malcolm Drummond, 361 Firs Lane, Palmers Green, London, N13 5LX Tel: 020 8803 0113 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.