Connecting local responses around the world
I just returned from four days of SALT visits in Karnataka, India. I am still grappling with what happened. No words will ever translate the power of the inspiration flowing through all of us, hosts and guests alike. Maybe the only way to thank for the gift of these days is to act on what we learned in our respective contexts.
This is why I would like to share the story Sue Parry (Zimbabwe) told us, when we were reflecting on SALT. It is about a situation that occurred in Rwanda. ‘As a result ofthe genocide and the impact of AIDS on adults, there are many households headedby children and adolescents. In a certain district, a well-meaning NGO decidedto intervene by providing each child-headed household with a goat to raise and breed.One day, a NGO official discovers that one of the youth has killed his goat and is selling goat-meatskewers in front of a bar! ‘Oh no,’ thought the official, ‘this is totally irresponsible andwill not happen without consequences.’ He goes on to tell the child that the NGO will drop this family from the program! “But why?” asks the child. “By selling kebabs, I earn enough money to send my siblings to school, and to buy another goat! “
The youth knew exactly what he was doing. He had used his initiative, resilience, and knowledge of his surroundings to make the most of his gift.
How many timeshave we acted without consultation or reacted on assumptions that proved to be false? By appreciating strengths, instead of passing judgment based on preconceptions, we are getting closer to reality.
Displayed in large in my office, is this simple question: "Are you sure? "
Sue, many thanks for telling this story and foryour help in editing it.