Scaling up the "The Good Village" concept

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The small steps towards change feel so trivial compared to the larger questions of eradicating global poverty, hunger and injustice. But I am convinced that the trick is to just start.

Sometimes I get the feeling that we humans make life more difficult than it is. I do not mean that life in any way is simple. However, we are blinded by the complexity instead of simply starting where we are at. We get stuck in the large, comprehensive, political solutions that we ordinary people often feel helpless about.

Start with the smallest question, the one that is easiest to solve here and now. Start from the context you are in, and then take the next context, and the next. This is how The Good Village-concept has emerged in the village of Nakamtenga. The village is located in one of the poorest countries in the world. Burkina Faso has some of the worst conditions for growth due to the lack of access to natural resources, combined with limited opportunities for export and import, since the country has no coast. This means that all transports are expensive, which further reduces the competitive advantage. In this village, however, we have now created a welfare society in mini format which is further developing!

From time to time, one’s contribution can feel like a drop in the ocean, an infinite mission. So in this time of efficiency and focus on quarterly results, I want to offer a mantra – the Yennenga equation:

It takes time, and we allow things to take time. That is why we will achieve the goals faster than those who choose the quick solutions.

This is the only way to move forward at all! To skip all the “quick fixes” since it won’t last in the long run anyway, and to do it properly from the start instead.

There are, of course, lots of tools for success, although some does not include improving our world. I think we should agree on a tool that we can all adopt, to make sure we pull in the same direction. Why not start with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development? At home I have a poster with the Sustainable Development Goals on the wall. In this way, it is present even in private life. The poster (which can be ordered at is both informative and stylish.

Some of you will argue that it’s difficult to make these goals your own and we relaps into the feeling that the problems are insurmountable! But we have a solution to that problem: a Yennenga-fication of the Sustainable Development Goals.

We have chosen to focus this annual report on presenting Yennenga’s Sustainable Development Goals! On the pages that follow, we will break down goals and sub-goals and describe how we have been working with them in the village of Nakamtenga. In our digital channels, we will post tips and advice on how the Sustainable Development Goals can be used as tools for success at your school or workplace as well as in your association or family.

The Sustainable Development Goals help us stay focused. The Yennenga-fication is carried out by adding three parameters per sub-goal, namely:

How can the Yennenga model help to achieve it?

To what extent has Yennenga realized it?

What resources, solutions and expertise are needed to take the next step in achieving it?


We are making progress in Nakamtenga. Step by step, we follow the plan that brings us closer to a complete welfare package!

We have gone from nothing to a situation where we are getting more and more things in place. Not to say that we are done. We are in a constant process of deepening, improving and developing each branch and sub-element of the project. In a constantly changing world with new technology and new solutions, flexibility is pivotal. And that’s where all our member companies, private members and experts come into the picture.

The next step in our work is to spread the word about The Good Village-concept as a model for a modern and holistic welfare society. Shortly, we will start a program to coach others who are interested in making the same journey to establish a welfare society.

We have encountered some adversities in recent months which take time and effort. And yet, I am still thankful. Now that we will start coaching others who want to build up The Good Village, we must also be able to provide support through different types of crises.

Honestly, it happens that I sit down and wonder if we take on more than we can manage. Whether we are pushing it too hard and risk that which we aim for. There are many wonderful and wise people who have made enormous efforts to create a better world. What do we have to offer? I wonder, but still my answer remains the same - action is more than theory. We are many, we take one step at a time, and above all we start with one piece of the puzzle. We are not waiting for a complete theory, but instead we start doing, redoing, and creating the future - The Yennenga Village!

The secret of getting ahead is getting started