About this Blog
How-matters.org attempts to revive and magnify compassion and empathy within the international aid and philanthropic sectors. Most of the time, the needs of institutions overshadow the needs of local civil society and grassroots initiatives, thereby retarding or even preventing real change for real people. Much is being lost in the abstraction and over-technicalization of development work.
This blog raises more questions than answers, but it hopes to explore the skills and knowledge needed by all “do-gooders” (professional and amateur, international and local alike) to raise the level of human dignity within international assistance and to put real resources behind local means of overcoming obstacles. Postings include articles, links, resources and tools, sound practices, and will (hopefully) inspire dialogue among the community of those involved in aid around the world.
“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I grew up on a pig farm in Bruning, Nebraska, U.S.A. At age 19, I went abroad for the first time to Zimbabwe and a new path for my life was opened.
I have worked with over 300 grassroots organizations in east and southern Africa over the past decade, focusing on organizational development and learning. In working with international NGOs and philanthropies over the years, I found myself continually experiencing the limitations of donor-controlled, project-based funding and the need for community-driven development initiatives that were genuinely responsive to local needs. I find my passion in accompanying small, local organizations to be strong forces for social change and poverty reduction at the community level, which is no wonder considering Bruning has a population of 248 people.
This blog and my work is an expression of a professional, but more importantly, a personal resolve to support aid practitioners to pay more attention to the concept of organization itself and the practice of facilitating the development of authentic and sovereign local organizations and social movements.
To learn more about my professional profile, see: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferlentfer
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. Content contained herein is not intended to reflect the work of any of my past, present, or future employers.
About the Succulent Icon
Vastly diverse species of succulent plants grow and thrive in some of the harshest and most beautiful places around the world. They are resilient, self-reliant, and adaptive to changing environmental conditions. Simply put, they are survivors.
The inter-related and repeating patterns of the succulent photo featured in our icon represent the inter-dependence that is at the root of creating sustainable conditions for humanity’s shared future.