I must confess that whenever I see one of those ngo street-fundraisers trying to trick people into a monthly payment, I walk around trying to avoid conversation. While walking around there are two things on my mind. First of all there is wonder: how come people are still buying this shit? Besides that I mentally prepare what to say in case I get approached.
“Well, you know, I am a real activist, I can’t relate with those big ngo’s… Besides that I have other things on my mind. I just recovered from cancer treatment, I am a philosopher looking for a job, and on top of it all I have my own development project in need of full support”
I truly don’t get how all these people involved in big or small organizations can be so self-assured about the things they are doing. The least I can say is that I am not. Off course I am dedicated when it comes to changing things for the better, but the actual process of changing things..? A constant struggle. The whole development debate..? The deeper I dive into this other tradition the less I am sure what true development is all about. And then there is power dynamics. Can you imagine the chaos that rises when different sort of people unite in striving towards some sort of development, while the notion of development is not clear, and at the same time everybody has his or her own personal reasons to be part of the movement..?
I guess at first I wanted to look smart and feel indispensable. I was driven by the need to feel important and influential. My reasons changed in the process of being sick. I came to see the project as a baby that I need to let go in order to let it lead its own life. That is quite challenging because of course as a mother you want to protect your child from harm and make sure it will have a bright future.
As a mother I am currently learning how to say no to my kid. No, I am no longer giving in every time you start crying. It is time for you to grow up.
I have reached a point whereby I am fed up being asked for money. Especially because we have been preaching the “self sustainable” story for seven years and still I am being pushed into this position of being asked for money on the one hand while being forced to beg for money on the other side.
At the same time we don’t have a concrete long term vision. We are currently struggling to be self sustainable while establishing the kindergarten with a follow up regarding primary school.
But where do we want to be in 5 years time? In 10 years time?