We regard a household as healthy when all its relations are good: the relations between family members, between this household and other households and entities, and the relations with the ecology. We believe, and we find in all low-income communities where we work, that the Christian faith is an important factor in developing such relations. In this definition of healthy households no domain of the household is lifted up as more important than others: physical, mental, social, financial, spiritual, environmental and other forms of health are all important and must combine and mutually re-enforce each other.
We take note of the results of happiness studies, e.g. that “Good relationships keep us happier and healthier” (https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/what-one-of-the-worlds-longest-studies-tells-us-about-happiness/).
These studies also show that economic growth is very important for people who are poor, but economic growth alone is not sufficient. It depends on the type of economic growth. Population growth also plays an important role. The Oxfam report of 2 May 2017, STARTING WITH PEOPLE. A human economy approach to inclusive growth in Africa, found that “(d)espite decades of unprecedented growth, the proportion of populations living in poverty declined more slowly in Africa than in any other region. A growing population meant that there were 50 million more people living in extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa in 2012 than there were in 1990.” The report states: “Oxfam has argued for the evolution of economic thinking away from an all-consuming faith in markets and growth measured through GDP. A more human economy would recognize that, if the well-being of everyone and the survival of the planet are to be the primary aims of the economy rather than a hoped-for by-product of free markets, then we need to explicitly design economies to achieve these things.”
Nova cannot design macro-economic policies, but, as we are working with families, we do have micro-economies in mind that have the well-being of everyone and the survival of the planet as primary aims.