Archive for the ‘Walking with the Poor’ Category

capital cirkleMost organizations or individuals who help others try to help moneywise. Although their intentions are good, it isn’t always wise to be that nice. (Or to be nice in that way.) Médecins Sans Frontières wants to help in an other way.  They claim to use inventivity and resourcefulness as an economic principle is about how you can make effective use of your sources of capital (financial, creative, human, social and spiritual).

Most people find themselves slowed down or even stopped in their ambitious goals or dreams because they think they’re missing one or more resources.

“We haven’t got the money, or miss knowledge, haven’t got the right people for the job” … and so on.  Being ingeniousness means something like: a different view on one’s capital so that new possibilities occur.

In case of MSF they like people to bring their social capital in action. But … in the end it is still financial or human capital which can be used in problem areas.  Another problem occurs here: a lot of problem solving has already been done on the drawing board at the office. Most aid workers are well trained and experienced.

walking with woundedWill the creativity and spiritual awareness of target groups be used as well? Most people don’t like to be helped because most of the time they have no influence on what they receive. This has nothing to do with their pride or stubbornness, but more about the aid workers. They worked very hard to get things done and now people start complaining. It makes them angry.

Same thing happens with soldiers who fought in other countries then their own. They see themselves as liberators. But are not welcomed as heroes, but shot at or killed.

Good ingeniousness starts with communication, how and in what way can the inconvenient other be helped so everyone has an happy end? People who lost their job, their health or survived an accident shouldn’t be nurtured like children all of a sudden. It might work for a couple weeks, but after that, life goes on. They still remain human adults most of the time, so not all the time. Most adults have learned professions or are experienced trough life.

Aid and relief work is designed to act immediately. They have to make quick decisions whom to help and what to cure.  The second wave of workers will address the spiritual need and how to deal with trauma. The last wave is mostly forgotten and left to the people; rebuilding their ruins and overcoming their stress levels. But what if the elite disappeared. Most intelligence flee the area and are never to return.

Transformational Developement is about how to use these remaining resources and turn them into human, social and environmental capital.

Mostar’s Bridge is a good example of remaining resources. The people of former Yugoslavia wanted to life in harmony again. They wanted to rise a symbol of brotherhood. So they emerged the broken pieces from the river Neretva and rebuilded their bridge. The international community helped with resources and knowledge.

Needless to say: most Transformational Development is smaller in its size, and not nominated for World Heritage by UNESCO.




Posted: 2013/12/10 in Walking with the Poor

GandhiOfficially can ‘pauperty’ not be used as a word, ‘pauper’ [‘pɑupər] means ‘poor’ in Latin. Most likely Sir William Shakespeare transformed the word to ‘pover’ and ‘poverty’. When looking at ‘Pauperism’ it can mean the general state of ‘being poor’ or poverty. In some cases people are poor on purpose. Most cases people not ment to be poor, but lost health, jobs or spiritual welfare. Far out the biggest poor maker is war and other conflicts. Most wars come out of a desire to take what is not theirs or denied by others.


Monks @ Work

Most monks in every religious system choose to be poor. Most of them live by what people give them. This can only work if there are not to many of them in a certain area. Another way of making this work is that a monastery produces food, drinks and needed materials. Most monasteries in Europe did transformational development, they invested in peoples creative thinking and workman’s craft to overcome poverty.

They helped in agricultural ways, illiterate the natives and grew herbs to cure diseases.   And they kept on doing so until this day. Some monasteries became famous beer brewers. [1884 -La Trappe] Not always is beer a good cure for the economy, but the rules in these abbey’s are quite strict on consumption. One at every meal, and one during the evening conversations.

Mémoire sur le paupérisme.

Alexis de TocquevilleAlexis de Tocqueville wrote this book in 1835 and said private or public aid is not helpful at all. Most systems work that way nowadays and we notice their bankruptcy nowadays.  According to Tocqueville the standard policy makes poor people into captives of the system. Employers and municipalities prevent people from entering their area’s. But on the other hand it is a human right in these countries to receive aid. So people start to be creative to get into the welfare.

Occupied FactoriesDuring the big recession in Argentina, banks closed their doors and companies had to sent their labour men home. In other countries companies advised their employees to become self-employed. “We call you when we need you … don’t call us.” In Argentina employees broke open the gates and doors of their former workplaces, started up the machines the known so well and started producing again. The only thing was: the company was repossessed by everybody. This rebooted the economy. [Study: las Emprasas Recuperedas en la Argentina, 2010] 

It seems modern communism, but Alexis de Tocqueville wrote it long before as the solution against poverty. Communism comes from the Latin word communis, which means “shared” or “belong to all” But … de Tocqueville was a liberal thinker … he was also known for his novel ‘Democracy in America’.



Where streets have no names [anymore]

-one click away-

Yesterday my eyes saw a documentary about the lost city of Detroit, USA. I was stunned about this wasted property and thought about a friend who told me he was a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen because he sang about the American Crisis back in the eighties. My friend was from Groningen and saw the same thing going on, unemployment and people moving away from the countryside towards metropools. He became a friend when he settled in Renkum-city. He had seen the world by that time and learned from the experience.

Googling the topic I found out about 50 modern city’s are abandoned last century. Finally nature takes over and streets have no names anymore. Who wants to go there …

Being in Peking

Being in Peking

Another thing stroke me: people were talking about regaining the wastelands for the use of farming. I’ll hope the ground is fresh and clean, not poisoned by industrial use of the area. Modern builded cities in China are know to suffocate children by their poluted air. The chances for lungcancer are 2 or 3 times higher then in the countryside.

Brings us to the next topic: what if one lives in these urban area’s, there are still people leaving their birthplaces to search redemption in big cities all over the world … rumor goes more Ethiopia-trained doctors are living in Chicago then in Ethiopia.  Better call them Utopia-trained doctors in that case.


1985 – Bono mission trip


Strangely Ethiopia is the place which got Bono [U2] inspired of writing ‘where streets have no name’. During a concert, Bono said that the song is about judgement. He and his wife travel on a mission trip to Ethiopia every year. In this country, your class determines the street you live on. So just by knowing the name of your street, someone is already prejudging you. “Where the Streets Have No Name,” is a place that Bono longs for where people are not prejudged in this manner.

Live aid brought up £150 million (approx. $283.6 million) and wanted to stop famine in Ethiopia before the end of the year. They send all the food and trucks and else at the beginning of the rainy season, most food got piled up in storrages. Back then Eritrea was part of Ethiopia and got the harbours, but Eritrea and Ethiopia were in war for independance for 30 years. What caused the famine in the first place. transformation

One could easily say July 13th 1985 wasn’t the day music changed the world. Unfortunately it is war what changes the world, and war is the sum of all evils. People often say religion gives war. The truth is divisions come out of unwill to devide equal amongst  the other family, tribe or race.

Humans have the tendency to do right and wrong. In some people the dark side overrules them, other people have a strong force moving them to do the right things.

I myself traveled to Ethiopia in 1995 and saw a country in progress and met people wanting to share there bits and pieces of food and shelter with me.

Unfortunately there were areas where people lived of food aid for 2 generations. No one did anything until food arrived in trucks, they eventualy helped it unload…

My trip to Ethiopia started up a proces of Transformation fromout within …