Listen

Alright, so you are here, you are “on the ground,” “on a site visit,” or simply traveling and exploring the lives of rural communities around the world. You are either working for an NGO (non-governmental organization), trying to start your own project or simply a curious individual trying to better understand how you can be of help on this planet. You see clear challenges: contaminated drinking water, limited access to health care and education, unemployment, bad roads, alcoholism, etc. You ask around, and the community agrees: yes, we have these challenges, we need help. And you jump into action!…But wait, before you start raising money for that hospital or orphanage, or go back to your NGO to request more funds for education, take a step back. Slow down. And listen. In most of these communities, these challenges are many years old, deeply integrated into the community and complex. Yes, there are those disaster relief situations where people need food and medicine, and they need it fast. But 99% of the time, change is slow, and we have to learn how to listen.

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