Posts Tagged ‘Question’

Reader Question: How Do You Stay Committed?

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

From Betsy Johnson: Working among the poor must be very rewarding but it must also be very difficult to stay energized in the midst of human suffering. How do you stay focused and committed and stave off burn-out?
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Reader Question: How Has Serving Overseas Changed You?

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

From Joyce Hyttinen: What is it about the poor and serving the poor that is transformative. I am assuming that you change interiorly from an experience such as CRS offers.
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Reader Question: What Draws You to Overseas Work?

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

From Olga: What draws you to this work? Is it a job for you or a calling? How to you insure that you are in fact working and living in solidarity with the poor you serve when you often come from a more privileged background as an international aid worker? What steps do you take to minimize the power differential that must exist?
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Reader Question: What’s the Best Way to Ease Suffering?

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

From Kathy Berken: What do you think is the best way for a person who is not working in the field to help alleviate the suffering of the poor?
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Reader Question: Are There Permanent Solutions to Poverty?

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Nancy Fitzpatrick: What projects sponsored by the “first” world hold the most promise for helping people permanently lift out of poverty – or at least out of extreme poverty?

Microfinance programs–in which people are given small loans (usually under $100) to start businesses–have lifted thousands of families out of poverty. People in the developing world are just as entrepreneurial as those in the developed world; they just don’t have access to the money they need to get started and make their ideas reality. It’s inspiring how relatively quickly a family can move out of extreme poverty once they’ve launched a home-based business like a poultry farm or snack kiosk.

– Laura Sheahen, CRS regional information officer

Reader Question: What’s the Best Way to Help Poor People?

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

From Kathy Berken: What do you think is the best way for a person who is not working in the field to help alleviate the suffering of the poor?
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Reader Question: What Are Your Living Arrangements Like?

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

From Joe: What are your living arrangements like? What do you do for fun after your days work is done?

I live in Dakar and, to be honest with you, have a nicer apartment than any place I’ve ever lived. I have Wifi, the electricity is reliable, and have three of the nicest security guards you’ve ever met. Ibrahim, Seck and Yousuf invite me for tea, are always up for a chat and a joke, and are never, ever in a bad mood.

After work, I run along the road that snakes its way around the city, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. I also sometimes help coach a wheelchair basketball team. The men are beggars in Dakar during the day, but have formed a team that practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Thanks for your question,
– Lane Hartill, CRS West Africa

Reader Question: What Do You Do to Relax After Work?

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

From Joe: What are you living arrangements like? What do you do for fun after your days work is done?
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Reader Question: What Surprising Thing Have You Learned?

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

From John Burger: What is the most surprising thing a poor person has taught you?

John,
I think a lot of Westerners working abroad would tell you that they’ve learned patience, resilience, perseverance, determination from the people we work with. All of this is true. But it’s a little abstract. And maybe a little cliché.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned:
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Reader Question: How Do You Adjust From Privilege to Poverty?

Friday, May 1st, 2009

From Olga: How to you insure that you are in fact working and living in solidarity with the poor you serve when you often come from a more privileged background as an international aid worker? What steps do you take to minimize the power differential that must exist?

Sunglasses

Are these $6 shades too showy? Photo by Laura Sheahen/CRS

I work for CRS in Egypt, a country where the majority of people live in deep poverty. I’m based in Cairo but go to rural villages for work. Especially in the villages, I try hard to wear simple clothes.

I’ve been faced with a conundrum in that regard. Last year, my cheap $10 sunglasses broke while I was in the U.S. for a visit. I was short on time, so when I ran into a convenience store, I bought the first sunglasses that fit ($6).

As it happens, these sunglasses have little flecks of glass on the side meant to look like jewels. When I was back at work in Egypt, I realized that perhaps these bargain-basement plastic glasses would look swanky or gem-encrusted to some of the people we serve.
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