It is a debate that I’ve felt myself as I travel around Ghana and previously Malawi to do my work. I can’t say that I’ve ever come to a good conclusion, but I try my best to find a balance that I can live with and that will let me sleep well at night. I think that’s maybe all we can ask for.
Part of the expectations from EWB is a week-long village stay (and regular shorter ones), our cultural immersion, our recognition and appreciation of the challenges on the ground and of culture. We are not perfect, but it’s a good start and a way to unlearn what we thought we knew to start learning again. It’s a value we have and we stick to it (and occasionally try to get some CIDA people stuck at their desks in Accra to get out to the field – still trying).
What are your thoughts on this? How does this resonate with you? What could you do in your community to help you understand poverty in your own community, not as a tourist and guilty observer, but as a conscious, curious and caring part of a solution?