Walters’ many trips to Africa only convinced him to take more
Thursday, 30 January 2014 15:57
Last Updated on Thursday, 30 January 2014 15:59
It’s hard for some to understand why poverty continues to stifle the people in Africa.
Not so for Steve Walters of West Point, who has made several trips to various countries on that continent over the past 13 years.
“Africa has the most natural resources of any continent,” he said.
“It may be the richest continent with the poorest people.”
Walters and the organization he works for, The Navigators, are trying to change that.
The former school teacher who left education to start a window replacement business, Walters is once again trying to educate people, helping them prepare for the next step in their lives.
“Giving people hope and a vision for a little brighter future is rewarding,” Walters said. “It can make a huge difference. I feel blessed to be able to do this work.”
He had no intention of another career change back in 2000 when he made his first trip to Africa. He went after hearing a person from Kenya speak at a conference about the need for Christians with small business backgrounds to come to Africa and share both their Biblical and small business perspectives.
So he went to Kenya. Then he went to Zimbabwe. Then to Ethiopia and back to Kenya.
After seeing and experiencing more of what was happening, Walters was asked by The Navigators to serve with a team of people that was working in Kenya. After discussing it with his wife, and praying, Walters decided to get on board. That was in 2004.
Early on, he was involved in establishing microenterprise businesses in Kenya. The goal was, and still is, he said, to help people in Africa become Christian businessmen and women.
“The great need is employment. If you don’t have a job you battle for survival,” Walters said. “But it takes help. It may take a loan or it may take coaching. But we try to help them earn money.”
His job now, as Director of African Partners for The Navigators, is to find businessmen and women to go to Africa to meet the young entrepreneurs. Walters has taken a few men from the West Point area on trips, and a handful more will go with him to Chicago this year to learn more.
For the full story, pick up the January 29 West Point News, or call 372-2461 to subscribe.