Tatua was connected to Mankama’s Blog, Development for Development, through one of our linkedin.com groups. Mankama and Tatua share the same commitment to developing a country rather than changing an individual and to shifting development to a culture of choice rather than charity.
Mankama writes powerfully about the changes needed in the development structure in Ghana, his home in West Africa. We see the same need to SLOW down, listen and hear what is being said underneath the words. We wanted to share some of his thoughts. Mankama is on staff at Clash International.
Sometimes, It’s Who You Are That Matters
From a very young age I learned that when you hear the three letters: N, G, O, it means someone is coming to give you something. Maybe a mosquito net, a community tractor, or a t-shirt. I came to learn how outsiders defined our underdevelopment as if I read it in a text book. Later, when I actually read it in a text book, I couldn’t help but laugh. If someone from outside asked, “How can we help?” or, “What problems do you see in your community?” Any one of my neighbors would recite as if reading from some shared list: malaria, water, fertile land, electricity, etc. However, if I were to ask any of my neighbors these same questions, I wouldn’t receive any of these responses. And in that discrepancy lies much of what plagues development initiatives today.