My Shift From Charity to Solidarity
Landon Turlock, Development and Peace
SDGs 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions; 17: Partnerships for the Goals
Development and Peace (The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace) is the official international development organization of the Catholic Church in Canada and the Canadian member of Caritas Internationalis. Development and Peace is a membership-led organization supported by parish collections, individual donations and government grants, principally from Global Affairs Canada.
Six years ago, I entered my last year of high school without a concrete direction for my future. Whereas most of my friends were planning to set sail for
When I arrived in the city of Nakuru, Kenya, I was eighteen years old and without so much as a First Aid certificate. What I lacked in training, though, I made up for with confidence that I would change the world for the better.
“By the end of my trip, I had not changed the world for others. The world, however, had changed for me.”
Of course, my experience varied dramatically from my expectations. Most of the people I worked with at the hospital were doctors, nurses, or other highly trained professionals with years of experience, not to mention fluency in more languages than I could count. I spent most of my time cleaning, wheeling around patients, and attempting to learn a little bit of Swahili in my downtime.
After visiting what
What I had failed to recognize in Kenya was the capacity of the people who live there to change their world themselves. Who is better suited to the task of helping a community suffering from injustice or poverty: An eighteen-year-old with no real knowledge of the country and its languages? Or the people who actually live in the community and who best understand its politics, culture and capacities?
When I returned to Edmonton, I realized that the difference I had hoped to make overseas
Development and Peace
You don’t need to fly across the world to make a difference. There are countless ways to be a part of a more sustainable world, and many of them start at home.