A few years back, there was a church group from the United States that wanted to make an impact in the world. So they raised money to buy a bunch of mosquito nets.
They gathered a small group of people and flew to Africa. They handed out the nets to a small village in hopes of making a difference in the battle against Malaria.
The group spent a few days with the villagers, took some pictures passing out the nets, then boarded a plane back to their country.
They felt pretty accomplished knowing that they had helped make a small impact in the lives of others.
As soon as the church group had left the village, the people gathered up the nets that had been distributed, took them to a nearby market and sold them.
How often in life have you made the very same mistake?
Have you ever decided to help someone, but made an assumption about what would most benefit them based on your own circumstances?
With widespread occurrences of Malaria across most of Africa, it seemed that providing a method of preventing this illness would have been a very impactful and caring thing to do.
But you see, the reason that the villagers had sold the mosquito nets is not that they were ungrateful. They simply had no use for them.
The nets are viewed as a comfort and preventative measure for a growing health threat in one country. But in the other, the seemingly huge problem of Malaria is not the number one concern. In most cases, far from it.
It was only assumed that this was a pressing need, based on the culture and situation of those trying to fill it. If the church group had done their research on the people and culture they were trying to help, they would have found that there are other needs to be addressed in order to create a bigger impact.
The reason the villagers sold the nets was to buy food. That was the biggest need at the time.
What impact could asking the right questions have?
Imagine what a greater impact the church group would have made, had they known this.
Imagine what a difference farming supplies, seeds or the purchase of land to grow food would have made for the villagers.
The church group was not wrong in wanting to help, but by deciding what that would look like based on their own knowledge and cultural values did not leave the lasting benefit they had envisioned.
LY2NK Foundation wants to end the preemptive cycle of supporting people with handouts and make a real change toward empowering people with a hand up. The close relationships with the people in the villages where projects are occurring ensure that actions have the most impact and benefit to those who live there.
Not just a solution, but a collaborative resolution.
Our team strives to ensure that knowledge flows openly in both directions. LY2NK asks questions about the needs and the current challenges that need to be resolved within the culture and situation at hand.
Leaders and mentors from all walks of life collaborate and brainstorm to find solutions. These are then tested again against real life circumstances.
This process of true integrative problem solving is how LY2NK Foundation is different from those that decide how to fix a situation they have never encountered for themselves. This is the difference between a band aid and sustainability.
This is a #rippleofimpact.
If you have time, talent or treasures to apply toward meaningful solutions, visit the support page.