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Success & Failure - Angie's Peace Corps (Namibia) Adventure

Feb. 20th, 2006

04:19 pm - Success & Failure

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I received news on my first success & my first failure with the things we are trying to do- both within one phone call. First off, the bad news- The soup kitchen proposal was not approved. That seriously sucks. I can’t even think of any other way to put it other than ‘that just seriously sucks’. The problem – and this is completely understandable- is that the project is not sustainable enough. This is true. Organizations are getting tougher & tougher about helping out and due to this, sustainability is of utmost importance. Understandably so. No one wants to give out money if there is no way that a project can sustain itself economically once their donation runs out. The thing is, in years past this was not such a big issue. CAFO managed to secure funds for a soup kitchen last year by proposing the same thing we proposed this time around. But everyday more and more soup kitchens are springing up here & thus it becomes harder to get approved. What a blow…

This means that I will have to meet with the CAFO Committee ASAP & figure out what they would like to do from this point on. We can either work together (with the input of the community) to come up with income- generating ideas for this same project or we can scratch this and move on to another project- a community garden. I feel that the community garden would be much more successful & we’d be much more likely to get funding by going that route. It is definitely sustainable. But this is not solely my project, and I do not run the show. I am here to help out and give input with whatever the community decides. I guide, provide ideas, and advise, but ultimately what happens is what they as a community decide that they need, want, and can work with. When I leave in 21 months they have to be able & willing to keep up with whatever gets started while I’m here, otherwise there is no point in any of this. Community development, particularly in the PC I think, operates not under the “What works best” system, but under the “what works best for this particular community” system.

The good news is that the proposal requesting help with getting some of the OVC learners their school uniforms & shoes went through and was approved. That is good- atleast we had success with that. Pretty much all of the 200 something Orphans & Vulnerable Children on CAFO/CAA’s roster are in dire need of help & most can’t afford to pay for school fees & uniforms, which means they can’t go to school. While we can’t provide them with everything, we try to help them with the school finances.

Current Mood: Rollercoastering
Current Music: Travis- The Invisible Band