As we come to the end of 2017, I’ve been reflecting on the idea of generosity of spirit. To work in an NGO in war zones and areas of conflict, tests our ability to be the best of who we are. Daily, we are faced with much of the worst of humanity.
Reading the Charter for Change: localization of humanitarian aid, an outcome of the World Humanitarian Summit held in 2017, it seems to me that a lot of us in the sector as a whole have forgotten what it means to be generous of spirit. When we are faced with the fact that 0.2% of the aid that Western actors give makes it to local NGOs, we have to do some serious soul searching about how we got into this position.
Capoeira4Refugees has always worked at a grassroots level, and has a track record of empowering local actors. In fact, the projects that we have worked on have led to replication, local jobs, and local ownership since our very beginnings in Damascus in 2007/08. This means that in Syria, Palestine, and Jordan we were able to close down our offices knowing that the work with capoeira was carrying on and locally owned.
As Capoeira4Refugees has grown and developed over the years, we have always sought to retain that generosity of spirit. This has shown up in our desire to partner and share our knowledge as widely as possible. This has shown up through our recently launched grassroots Changemaker Award. This has shown up through the volunteers and supporters who have helped us to keep the organization going.
The Charter for Change is a reminder that we all have to remember why we give and what we expect to achieve from that giving. And that sometimes, we require more than the best of intentions. We need to have that generosity of spirit, which allows us to face the darkest sides of ourselves and still be the best of who we are.
Seasons’ greetings to everyone!!
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