Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dr James B. Mayfield and CHOICE Humanitarian

Shree Kanta Adhikari honoring James B Mayfield

At 78 years old Dr. Mayfield is still going strong. I talked with him about his upcoming project in Nepal. It is very exciting. Below is a short version of what CHOICE Humanitarian does.

Why Do People Support CHOICE Humanitarian? 
Four Reasons
Sustainability, Sustainability, Sustainability, Sustainability

Principle One:  Giving a Man a Fish will not Eliminate Poverty:  Giving money for projects helps some people for a while, but it lasts only as long as outsiders continue to help them. There is no sustainability.  Giving a man or women a fish feeds them for a day, but then the next day they need someone else to give them another fish.  How can you ensure that your money will not only help people, but also ensure the people being helped learn to fish themselves, so they feed their family continually after your help ends?  CHOICE’s Self Developing Village Program shows villagers how poverty is eliminated by implementing the correct principles of sustainable development. 

Principle Two: Changing Villages will not Eliminate Poverty:  Many programs provide help to villages:  building a new school, a health clinic, a micro credit program focusing on children, women, elderly, the sick, or the unemployed, all types of villagers who need help. However, such help is only available as long as some outsiders provide them with free food, free medicine, free schoolbooks, free credit, etc. More important, providing such free services may help villagers to cope with their poverty, but it will not help them to move out of poverty. What we need to change is not the villages, but the villagers.  But what do villagers need to change?  Only when all the villagers, especially the leaders in these villages, become self-developing and learn how to determine their own needs, plan and implement their own projects, mobilize and leverage their own resources, and take responsibility for their own development, will poverty be eliminated in a sustainable way. CHOICE has developed a three-year curriculum that teaches villagers and their leaders how to eliminate poverty.

Principle Three:  Increasing economic development in the village will not eliminate poverty.  Many people think giving money to villagers who are entrepreneurs, who are motivated to start their own businesses and enterprises, will eliminate poverty.  Such giving may help some people in a village, but it does not eliminate poverty.  In fact, such investments encouraging economic growth often increase poverty in a village, as the gap between the rich and the poor tends to increase.  Choice has learned that giving money for projects may at best only help villagers to cope with their poverty, but not really help them out of poverty. 

Principle Four:  Encouraging Villagers to adopt our values and institutions will not Eliminate Poverty. The only way to eliminate poverty in a village is ensuring villagers have determined the core values and community institutions that bring meaning and purpose in their lives, that reinforce norms of cooperation, kindness, concern for others, equity and fairness and a strong commitment to help the extreme poor in their villages, not waiting for outsiders to come to their rescue. Sustainable development that eliminates poverty must be based upon the villager-determined core values that stimulate a sense of unity, responsibility, and commitment to ensure all the villagers have a better quality of life.  Let CHOICE show you how poverty will be eliminated in one country at a time!

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