“Just because you have a really large hammer does not mean that everything in the world is a nail.”
This is a quote we read today in an article called “Anti Aid”. Today was aid and development day. We ate breakfast and started our academic seminar about the pros and cons of aiding developing countries. We split into two groups and read articles to prepare for a really heated debate. People who supported foreign aid gave examples of how some aid and development organizations have helped millions of people escape poverty. People who argued against foreign aid believed that countries receiving money and resources are not learning to be self-efficient. The author of the anti-aid article wrote about how Jason Sadler’s T-shirt project dumped a million free T-shirts in Africa. Sadler assumed that people in Africa needed T-shirts without going to Africa and meeting the people there. Hector, one of our Global Glimpse leaders, inspired us with his lesson about doing an effective community project in developing countries. He said that such projects need to be sustainable. To me, sustainability means teaching a man how to fish instead of giving him a fish. It means helping people to help themselves.
All of us have learned so much today and we are so excited to start our project on Wednesday. First, we need to meet people in the community to see how they make a living. Then, we can ask them about their needs.
After finishing our academic seminars we got on the bus and went to a farm called Senor Cuy. We met with the cooperative and toured their facilities. I was surprised to find girls in my age working there in the local youth organization. I met a girl named Margarita who helps to raise Guinea Pigs and tries to get more people joined in the organization. In her free time, she likes to play soccer and listen to music. Her dream is to become a professional teacher. I had so much fun talking to her and I wished to spend more time with her. Hector said he will invite them to come on Friday to our hostel so we can learn more about them and how they run such businesses.
For lunch, we all went to a restaurant in the city called Rayuela . We had a hardy soup filled with meat and vegetables. The second course was pork chop, rice and beans, and fried banana. The third course was Vanilla ice cream with raspberry. I never had the chance to lead nineteen students before. It was not an easy job. I had to make sure they all were engaged. I encouraged them to be curious and ask questions to the speakers of the day. I never knew I could do such thing and that’s why I am grateful to be in Global Glimpse. I am passionate about making a sustainable change in developing countries. People here have dreams and aspirations, they are like us, yet they have limited access to opportunities.