Posts by admin

Why Communities? 0

Why Communities?

Posted in media/press, News

On occasion, I ponder whether or not I should concentrate my efforts somewhere else. There are so many worldwide problems: Street Children; Trafficking; Refugees; Gangs; Poverty; Education and the list goes on an on. The root usually lies in communities. For example, a community that is lacking a resource to help it survive is more vulnerable to poverty. Poverty leads individuals to seek a way out. While seeking a better life, they can become prey to those who have ill intentions. These ill intentions can then touch our lives and we invest thousands of dollars to make sure it doesn’t become our way of life, but there never seems to be evidence that things are improving. If our focus was on creating healthy communities in our neighborhood, city, state, country, and world, some of these problems could be eliminated. Most people don’t want to leave their family, friends, and communities, but they don’t see any other way. My hope is that they won’t have to and instead will be able to meet their needs so they can make their families, communities, state, and world a better place. Sound simplistic? It is. That doesn’t mean it isn’t true, though. Walu has always said we do not wish to turn any...

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Why Communities? 0

Why Communities?

Posted in Uncategorized

On occasion, I ponder whether or not I should concentrate my efforts somewhere else. There are so many worldwide problems: Street Children; Trafficking; Refugees; Gangs; Poverty; Education and the list goes on an on. The root usually lies in communities. For example, a community that is lacking a resource to help it survive is more vulnerable to poverty. Poverty leads individuals to seek a way out. While seeking a better life, they can become prey to those who have ill intentions. These ill intentions can then touch our lives and we invest thousands of dollars to make sure it doesn’t become our way of life, but there never seems to be evidence that things are improving. If our focus was on creating healthy communities in our neighborhood, city, state, country, and world, some of these problems could be eliminated. Most people don’t want to leave their family, friends, and communities, but they don’t see any other way. My hope is that they won’t have to and instead will be able to meet their needs so they can make their families, communities, state, and world a better place. Sound simplistic? It is. That doesn’t mean it isn’t true, though. Walu has always said we do not wish to turn any...

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Regret 0

Regret

Posted in media/press, News

November 16, 2015 I am always surprised by the negative connotation the word regret carries. I suppose it can be harsh if it is viewed as condemnation, but for me I find it liberating. I regret something so much that I learned from the experience and made changes so I won’t repeat the mistake. Now that you know I do not beat myself up over my regrets, but rather experience peace as I work through and grow from them, please let me share one of my heartfelt regrets that I made while working with street children in Ukraine. A regret that would forever change the way I do humanitarian work. My philosophy has and always will be to work with Nationals in their home country by providing training and encouragement. Like a number of humanitarian trips I have been on, I was told I would be investing in Ukranians to equip them to work with the hundreds of street children in Kiev. Soon after I got there, it was apparent to me that we (the foreigners) would be spending a majority of the time with street children in a detention center rather than providing training for Ukranians. This concerned me because I felt (and still do) we should be...

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Faces We Remember 0

Faces We Remember

Posted in media/press, News

October 16, 2015 I was reading the news yesterday and came across an article about the drought not only in California, but worldwide. My heart stopped when I read that Papua New Guinea has already had 12 drought related deaths and that the count will greatly increase. There was a picture of children standing in a dry field and although the image impacted me, I wasn’t seeing their faces. Instead I was seeing the faces of the many people in Lido, PNG where we have worked for 4 years. I immediately sent an email to one of my contacts in Lido and she informed me that as of now they are doing alright so my mind was eased for the night. I have yet to meet the community in Lido, Nicaragua where we are currently working. Pat has been the Walu face there. I am eager to meet the wonderful people who are already a part of my life. I know that when I meet them the connection will be much stronger and thus articles involving Nicaragua will hurt more than they used to. That is part of this work. The more you get involved in a project the more that particular part of the world matters. For example,...

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First Eco Latrine in Nicaragua! 0

First Eco Latrine in Nicaragua!

Posted in media/press, News

August 16, 2015 One of my favorite things to hear when working with a community is: “We can do this. We don’t need the foreigner.” This is music to my ears because the truth is once a community has been equipped to provide for themselves, they really don’t need a “foreigner” anymore. We are on the right track to hearing this in the Cuajachillo 2 community in Nicaragua! Pat arrived in Cuajachillo on June 1st. When he arrived, the eco latrine was a new concept for them to grasp. Our initial goal was to make sure they wanted a latrine, work with the community to form a committee, provide training, and maybe discuss latrine designs. We accomplished so much more! Things progressed quicker than we anticipated due to a high level of community ownership. This summer, Pat: 1) Facilitated community meetings 2) Created an environment for the community to choose a Committee to oversee the project 3) Worked with the community to choose a stakeholder for the eco latrine 4) Facilitated discussions with the community to brainstorm a monetary maintenance plan 5) Trained the community to construct their first eco latrine! Water is also an issue for the community due to the distance they have to travel to collect...

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