31 January 2011

What is Going On?

Interact with the underneath to find what how Macha Works!

28 January 2011

Demand Driven Solutions

Many well intended solutions are showered benevolently upon communities in which I roam. Upon implementation, these solutions often end up dormant and discarded. Although from certain perspectives these solutions did seem to make sense, locally they have an extraterrestrial ring to them as tangible representation of mismatch emerging from prevailing deconstructively dealings with 'the What' in contrast with local demands holistically expressed through 'the Who'. It appears that often stuff (= what) are put into communities without thorough consideration of people (= who) aspects.

A prerequisite for a solution is a demand. Thus prerequisite for implementation of a solution is a satisfying answer on the question "Whom is asking?". Without real expression of local demand there is only shaky ground for implementation of local solutions. A-person-or-community-asking is necessary infrastructure over which solutions, including resource alleviations, can be rolled in. Possibly only those whom ask - whom express demand - have the initial capacity to recognize an intervention as a solution. When no-one expresses the local demand, no-one recognizes the local solution.

A multidimensional balance is involved, including aspects like exposure, anticipation, communication, equality, relationship, freedom, and more. Also, involvement of all stakeholders, leadership of the person-or-community-asking, sustainable use and growth of existing resources, and strengthening of already existing capacity are part of the mix. Implementing solutions involves piecemeal expansion of the local resource base, aimed to grow capacity and capability, also in preparation for local demands and their local solutions that will inevitably follow.

Although time is runs fast, it is still one-step-at-a-time, with cooperation, collaboration, in unity. Thus our focus on (local) demand driven solutions.

15 January 2011

Awe-struck, Jaw-dropping Wonder

Today I saw a grandmother wheelying her handicapped grandson in a broken wheelchair through slush and mud to the Kids-club in the Care House. Purposefully. I saw a list with tens of volunteers from the Macha community noting their willingness to assist in keeping the transitional care flowing, with nobody asking anything in return. I went through the community and saw people palavering with other people, nodding, often with displaying smiles on their faces. I heard of equipment being blown up by lightening and electricity surges, and saw concerned engineers wondering about how to help people going without service. I heard of ideas and plans how to alleviate difficulties. I heard a call from exotic birds. While standing outside I heard the rain approaching. I heard nice words spoken by many, and saw most people trying their level best to bring out the best from themselves to serve others. I used four different computers linked to the Internet, I communicated from the rural African bush with peers around the world via various means of media. I saw a photographer taking pictures with a digital camera, documenting what is happening.

Wow, and we are not even halfway through this day. When news papers would report on all positive news, they would be too thick to read.

Each day is worth living, a memory to cherish. A Wonder.

12 January 2011

Here and Now

4.200 km, 13 day car-with-trailer round trip brought me from rural Zambia through rural Zimbabwe to South Africa and back. We went as a family to meet and greet, and get supplies to Murambinda Works (Murambinda Foster Trust) in Zimbabwe. Now back home remains a lingering amazement over the time-factor.

When traveling vast distances over ordinary, single lane roads one appreciates distances. Covering 300 kilometers a day is a significant achievement. And when covering large distances with a family, while tenting along to keep cost down, in challenging conditions - for instance 130 mm rainfall a day - one encounters many and various uncertainties. This did accumulate into a three days delay in returning, thus we came back later than planned. And here nobody minds or comments on it.

This experience combines with observations from Local Talent from rural areas that visited the West. They mentioned the time-factor as one of the most impressive impressions they witnessed. In the West people keep time, with time seemingly superseding relationships. This in contrast to rural Africa where relationships influences (keeping) time. They testify that after witnessing this phenomena in person, they are able to position the high pressure from people oversees. That pressure is not readily understood as it confusingly seem to interfere with relationship building.

It is good to travel, to be exposed. Again I experienced the particular challenges that people face in rural areas. And in coping it boils down to how one experiences time. In view of the many challenges, and fragile availability of resources, it appears fundamentally difficult - almost impossible? - to say something definitive about the future. One thus best pivots in the present time, in the Here-and-Now. And that is where we all live.