Innocent until proven guilty

To a large extent, many of us rumble through life with little thought to the what if’s of any given situation, but every now and then a curve ball comes our way which makes us stop and think. This is certainly true in my case, when I recently had the opportunity to visit Practical Action’s work in Peru and Bolivia. I saw for myself the difference financial support can and does make to the communities living in the high Andes. Practical Action can only fulfill the commitments we have made to the communities who continue to live in extreme poverty, with the generosity of like-minded individuals, organisations, trusts and foundations.Digital Image

If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I could never have imagined the enormity of the Peruvian landscape and the difficulties communities face on a daily basis. If it is not the distance, or the altitude or the state of the roads, it is the extreme heat of the day or the cold of the night. Nothing is easy for these communities – they are the innocent bystanders in a far from innocent world and I know I was guilty of being blinkered to their plight.

I suspect there are a lot of people like me, guilty through no fault of our own, just innocent actions and a touch of ignorance which is why the innocent foundation’s support of our work is so incredibly special; not only to all of us here at Practical Action, but to the communities who they have so generously supported for several years.

Digital ImageLiving in a one room hut is the reality for communities, but the implementation of basic services – simple amenities that we all take for granted can and does make a difference to them. The difference is plain to see, and I was lucky enough to meet and talk to the community involved in this project during my own visit and who feature in the innocent Chain of Good video being aired on television.

To have a chain of facilities such as power, water and appropriate sanitation is life changing and will break the chain of poverty for good. It means they can afford the essentials in life such as food, clothing and education. However, one thing that has stayed in my mind was the lady who when asked how the new facilities had made a difference to her, replied, ‘it allows me to take the truck down to the town to buy a few essentials.’  Not a bus with a comfy seat, air conditioning and a bag of sweets, but the back of a truck, and a five hour drive down the rough mountain track on a Saturday, to return on the Sunday with a few basics and a bad back!

We are all innocent until proven guilty – what we do here in our everyday lives is in complete innocence, but it makes us all guilty of being inflexible to the implications of our actions in the wider world. The Chain of Good video portrays a powerful message and I hope it will stop us in our tracks and make us all think – not for me or for any of us here at Practical Action, but for the communities that will benefit from the real and lasting difference individuals, organisations, trusts and foundations can and do make.

It is two months on since my return from Peru and Bolivia and not a day goes by I don’t think about the communities – the families that I met or the images I saw – the innocent foundation inspires; on behalf of those communities, thank you.

 

 

2 responses to “Innocent until proven guilty”

  1. Arafat Rawliking Terwunde Karim Says:

    As the founder of True Generation African link, i find practical action very interesting and would like to be part of this good initiative.Well taking a good look at your projects which i think are good still needs more which will go a long way to make your projects much more sustainable. As much of our research shows that ngos are now used to make money not for the benefits of the poor but head of ngos or associates of organisations and many more.i simpy say empowerment is my key and with potencials from both side;ngos and the deprived would bring the much neede results and accomplishment.I look forward to being part of your instituetions and adding my experince of seven years working with different organisatons including the united nations deelopment project.At the moment im in berlin trying to fix a deal with some waste management companies to help with the detoriating environmental situation in my country.my aim creating more jobs as well as protecting my envorons by making good use of the waste which is today killing 1000s of people each day on my continent.As said by the first head of state of my country Dr Kwame Nkrumah the independence of my country is meaningless unless it is link up with the TOTAL libration of the African continent,which also means a singl broom stick is of no use or weak as compared to a whole broom or more broom sticks not matter how strong one is.Hope for a better healthy and safe world,

    Arafat

  2. Arafat Rawliking Terwunde Karim Says:

    As the founder of True Generation African link, i find practical action very interesting and would like to be part of this good initiative.Well taking a good look at your projects which i think are good still needs more which will go a long way to make your projects much more sustainable. As much of our research shows that ngos are now used to make money not for the benefits of the poor but head of ngos or associates of organisations and many more.I simpy say empowerment is my key and with potencials from both side;ngos and the deprived would bring the much needed results and accomplishment.I look forward to being part of your instituetions and adding my experince of seven years of working with different organisatons including the united nations development project.At the moment im in berlin trying to fix a deal with some waste management companies to help with the detoriating environmental situation in my country.My aim creating more jobs as well as protecting my envorons by making good use of the waste which is today killing 1000s of people each day on my continent.As said by the first head of state of my country Dr Kwame Nkrumah the independence of my country is meaningless unless it is link up with the TOTAL libration of the African continent,which also means a single broom stick is of no use or weak as compared to a whole broom or more broom sticks not matter how strong one is.Hope for a better healthy and safe world,

Leave a reply