Development Cooperation Handbook/Stories
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When we think about development projects we think of objectives and achievements. So many hospitals built … so many teachers trained … so many villages electrified … and so on, so forth. Achieving objectives is, of course, important. But there is something else we need to say. It is the human story, the passion that drives cooperation workers, the joy - or frustration – they feel when they succeed - or fail - to bring more justice to the excluded.
We need to reveal the challenges. How are local communities utilizing infrastructures created for them? Do they agree with the information they receive? Was, what donors gave away, really what receivers wanted?
While collecting stories of the work in progress for the Millennium Goals, we learned that no-one can bring freedom to others. Empowerment cannot be "given". Like we cannot “deliver” education. Nor can we “buy” participation.
Each one has to lead one's potential out of oneself. But, in order to recognize and express our potential, we need a society that does not marginalize and exclude. We need a healthy communication climate, where differences are respected and valued. We need freedom from mistrust and indifference.
Only then, can we act in a reciprocally empowering process: because we acknowledge that, in order to fully realize ourselves, we need the self realization of the others.