Solving the Right Problems

A water pump in Africa.

Have you ever spent hours trying to fix something only to have a friend point out a much easier way you should have done it? Or even worse, that you didn’t solve the real problem? At SonSet Solutions, we provide solutions to help our partners, but in order to do that, we have to fully understand the problem.

If we just made the first thing someone asked for, without taking time to understand the root issue, we may not actually help them at all. Our goal is not to sell a product, but to help ministries advance the gospel. So, taking time to make sure we understand problems and needs first is critical to providing effective and sustainable solutions.

Recently, we had a few partners ask about upgrading India Mark II (IM2) hand pumps. (They fail on average every 6-12 months.) They came to us asking if we could make a custom tool to help fix the handle bearings. We started having conversations to understand the bigger issues and realized there were really two problems. First, the handle bearings were wearing out far too quickly and causing failures. Second, pumps are failing frequently due to more than just the handle bearings. A tool would help in solving the first problem, but would only be a temporary fix. So, we came up with an upgrade, rather than a repair tool, which will extend the life of IM2 handles.  Beyond the handle issues, we are looking into other simple upgrades that could greatly extend the life of an IM2.

We don’t always provide what is initially requested. In taking the time to understand the overall problem, we are providing solutions to help ministries better care for, serve, and build relationships with communities, leading to more opportunities for the gospel to take root in the long term.

Written by David Palmer, August 2022

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