I just watched Greg Mortensen (Three Cups of Tea) on TV, talking about the importance of local buy-in to assistance efforts in the third world. I wanted to stress to everybody who is getting to know EdPowerment that this is one of our guiding principles.
In the past two weeks, Kilimahewa Educational Center (the “informal” school that we support) has hosted two community education workshops – one on Autism (and other special needs) Awareness and the other on Health and HIV/AIDs (conducted by the KNOCK Foundation). The community came together not only to attend the events, but also to prepare for the seminars by cleaning the facility, clearing the site, erecting tents, providing tea and getting out the word. After the last seminar on reproductive and other health issues, one of the village chairpersons (men) expressed interest in inviting the entire ward to future seminars.
This is the type of community engagement that EdPowerment seeks to build as we strengthen Kilimahewa’s programs. In the next month, we hope to begin the drilling phase for a water well – this project will support economic progress in the community which, in turn, will allow for even greater participation in the school’s development. Ultimately, our goal is to empower the local population. This is not the “Dead Aid” of top-down government funding. This is grassroots, bottom-up aid that incorporates the local community in reaching its goals of a better life.