I’ve just come across an old note book in which I scrawled interview notes when I visited Zimbabwe. Its two years ago now but I recall each conversation so well. I’ve just written another blog that pretty much said how disheartened I was thinking about the lack of progress towards the Rio +20 summit next month. Flicking through this note book lifted my spirits. So I thought I’d share just one conversation.
This is just some of my notes when talking with a lady called Blessing.
“How I feel about Practical Action is hard to express, people around here are very happy, we never expected such a thing, we are very happy.
This is so much connected with the development of the area. I was born here in 1963 and it’s nice to see your area grow. There was no school here. I had to go away to school and stay away from my family. We got a school in 1992. We got houses for teachers next. Now working with Practical Action we get electricity. It’s great!
One day we will have someone from here working for Practical Action. We need to develop, we want to grow, and we are just too excited. We have great kids one day one of them will work for Practical Action. With electricity there are so many ways we can develop the area and our businesses. I can promise you we will develop. With electricity we have a chance. “
Tim Smit at the Eden project talks about walking your vision – keeping it in your mind and just going for it. That’s kind of what Blessing was doing – over a long period of time – rejoicing in a school build 18 years ago, thinking of her children or grandchildren working for Practical Action.
We need politicians to have long term vision – but as they are representatives of us we need to show them that we have and are open to long term thinking.
We have lots to learn from Blessing – who is truly well named.