I love working with All Hands because of the clear positive impact of the work we do. The success is obvious when a team of ten motivated individuals jumps down from the truck, shovels and sledgehammers in hand, and leaves behind a clear slab where the ruins of a house once stood, or a clean basement where mud and debris sat for weeks. The needs of the community are clear to see, and while our volunteers can’t address them all, they are often the only ones doing the careful manual clearance and deconstruction which can make such a difference to homeowners – foundations remain intact, materials are able to be reused, safer spaces are opened up for temporary shelter.
I recently came across a blog written by Greg and Caroline Spira who are documenting those same tangible successes in the development field, which can be must less clear-cut. Their photovoice posts are a space for local people to express their opinions on the efforts of development organizations to improve conditions in their current home, Cameroon. The theories and intentions behind projects such as micro-finance, vocational education and training opportunities are described by those who become involved with these well-intentioned programs. We all know what the road to hell is paved with, but in this case those creating the programs are brave enough, and smart enough, to ask the communities they work in how it’s going. See for yourself how various VSO initiatives are effecting positive change, through the words and pictures of those both reaping the benefits and helping to spread the success throughout their communities. Click here!