In 1888, if someone’s barn burned down, the community gathered their tools and rallied to help. Some helped the farmer with his plans for what the new barn should be like, some did framing, others did roofing, still others provided lunch for the workers.
That is not entirely different than the way Circles works. Struggling people have had their barns burn down. They have goals for what the new barn should be and the Circles community rallies to help them assemble tools, human resources, and encouragement to succeed. The rebuilding process builds confidence in the person leaving poverty and the support from all the others creates a knowledge of poverty and a commitment to building a stronger community.
Being a Circle Leader is at least at 22 month commitment including 15-week training. After being matched with middle-income or wealthy Allies, the group will meet for at least 1 ½ hours monthly and do occasional social events. In addition, all try to attend as many weekly Circle community meetings as possible.
For the Allies, the time commitment is similar although there is a shorter training commitment, about 15 total hours spread across a number of weeks.