Just walked in from a snowy drive back to Minneapolis after my presentation to the Hope Interfaith Center's Leadership Group. I was a tad nervous as I hadn't really planned much, but it went well! I showed the Omprakash powerpoint and spoke about CULP and on my experiences in Ghana, Africa and how I am planning for my upcoming trip to India.
I also spent a period of time speaking specifically about asset based community development. During my term with Public Allies we had a heavy focus on "ABCD" and as Omprakash seeks to end "voluntourism" ABCD seeks to end "drive-by service." Meaning in order to be leaders abroad, or leaders in any community that is not our own, we must not look from the outside in. It is important to build relationships in the communities we plan to work in. Instead of listing the deficits in an area and making assumptions about what they need or want, we should be listing every possible asset. What's working for said community, and how can I help to buil their capacity.
This is not to say that any amount of help or assistance isn't worth while or helping, it's only to say that the impact will not be nearly as great as we intend if we do not work from within the community, building upon their assets and assisting the community to heal itself.
Wonderful conversation with the women of the HIC Leadership Group and many thanks for having me!