31 May 2009

This year and the past years we gladly welcomed a multitude of visitors to the works at Macha. Some came with an explicit agenda to smell the scent and to learn. Others came to help for periods of one week, several months, or even years. The effectiveness of these helpers is subject of this blog.

Seeing short term helpers come and go, it becomes interesting to attain a view on the effectiveness of this activity. Some have come, worked and their work did evaporate when they went or shortly after. Others came, worked, and their legacy continues to exist and bloom. This stark difference in sustainance, I think, can be linked to the mindset, the outset, the attitude of the helper.

It seems that mainly the works of those coming with a servant attitude have remained. Those whose motive was to edify the local community, to serve wholeheartedly, have been most effective. They focussed on being a blessing and did not focus on good report to bring home or on pleasing others outside of the local community.

Those that came with an attitude of knowing what to do had limited effect.Them that did ask what others could do for them have gone and their works did not linger.

Many made silent sacrifices to be able to come, put the needs of the local community first, and did accept all the arrangements made by the local community. They did not ask anything in return, and their names are still known. They earned the love and respect of the local community, these helpers truelly influenced the lives in rural Macha.

05 May 2009

Intergral International Development

We are blessed with many researchers and bright-minds visiting Macha. As such, one's precepts and ideas are tested and scrutinized, allowing for continuous progress in conceptualizing and lines-of-thought. All in all it become clear that the holistic approach at Macha can provide for input in discussions on how to participate in sustainable progress, especially by people coming from other cultures with a wish to help progress.

Volunteer researcher Jasper Bets came up with some tantalizing observations, and noted the need for 3rd culture perspectives in travelers, which allows someone to be perceptive and effective within the local value system. As such, bridges are build for both developed and under-developed countries to learn from each other.

In Macha an integral perspective is being implemented, with activities set-up horizontally instead of vertically and with investments simultaneously in many different fields. This vitalizes and enforces each other, sustaining the interdependence of structures and systems. Such is done in an environment focussed on trust, respect, emerging from integration with the local community. Leaders are holding the space for change to come, as instilled by a long term view on progress. In such setting, one guides and operates from the background instead of directing by telling colleagues what needs to be done. Also this allows for local talent to stand up and thus local initiative to be fostered.

Furthermore, proper respect for the local environment necessitates aligning one's life with local life conditions, valuing relationships, showing of commitment, living in the here and now, synchronizing resource availability with seasons, recognition of - and submission to - local authorities, and aligning of world views. This supports the sustainability as the local community will embrace, own, and operate.

It is great that these kind of thoughts and ideas can be tested, scrutinized and discussed. It is wonderful to live in today's world, where we now can share, expose, and interact real time through the internet in our search, discussion and communication of an effective way of living and working together in a global community.