Posts categorized under Lessons Learned

27 March 2011 ~ 14 Comments

Learning to Serve

It seems that nearly every GAP year program, international school curriculum, and business incentivizing “volunteer leave” is now harping on the concept of “service learning”. They are no longer calling it “volunteering”, as the learning is being emphasized, but what I think we need is a further revolution of this concept. I no longer believe […]

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23 March 2011 ~ 8 Comments

Giving away one bednet doesn’t “save one life”…. sorry!

Ahh, bednets. NGOs sell the idea of giving things away by equating each thing we give away to “the poor”, like a bednet, as equal to “saving a life”. If only it were that easy…. This week a fascinating group of visiting students told us about a campaign that had happened in their school to […]

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16 February 2011 ~ 5 Comments

The Would-Be-Donor and Budding-Do-Gooder’s Code of Conduct

Yesterday I posted a piece which has gotten a lot of attention that is questioning our human tendency to focus on the hero story rather than the impact of development work. My complaints are not so useful if I don’t consider giving alternative options … so here we go. Here are some of my take-aways […]

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19 January 2011 ~ 4 Comments

Voluntourism IS WASTEFUL!

… when not done right. And, I know I am probably jaded, but I think that most of the time, it is not done well. Read up on this: These schools took money fundraised from around the world and just threw it out away. It’s SUCH a waste! And the people living nearby likely […]

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18 January 2011 ~ 1 Comment

The Voluntourism Debate

Join the discussion on Social Edge about voluntourism and how to “do it right”. I argue, that “doing it right” means not coming into a place to “volunteer” in the first place, but to learn and to share mutually.  “Learning service” rather than “service learning” is what we should teach our students to seek out […]

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03 January 2011 ~ 8 Comments

Guidelines for Writing About “Development Issues”

Over the course of the last five years we have jotted down many rules and given presentations internally at PEPY about our writing guidelines.  I spent the better part of the day today locating them and compiling them, and they have a lot of the same themes. Here are a selection of the Do’s and […]

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28 December 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Soe Impressive

I have not found the time to write on my blog or to tweet much recently as, with new leadership transitions at PEPY, the act of living the busyness of life is presently a priority over reflecting on it… but I have lots of lessons I am learning. Since I am not doing a great […]

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