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Thursday, February 04, 2010


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Dear Roger,

It is SO good to see you writing a blog about these key issues!

I have a brief comment about your blog "can't win abroad while losing at home".

Often our good intent and desire to "fix" things quickly leads us to focus most our effort on the material aspects of difficult situations that people are in. In our desire to help, we can overlook the social and spiritual situations that underlie the physical symptoms that are so obvious and can appear very easy to solve.

I recently read a book "When Helping Hurts" (by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert) which carefully discusses the tendency to fcous on the syptoms instead of the underlying problems. In essence, they say that poverty is a syptom of the underlying problem of broken relationships which we have found to be true in our work at the Foods Resource Bank - FRB.

They further claim that we must work to engage people in a way that invites whatever skills and resources they already have to solve problems (asset based community development). They claim (and we have also seen this in our work) that if we are too quick to jump in and solve chronic problems we may interfere or prevent the local, lasting solutions from emerging.

I would be pleased to have an ongoing discussion regarding this important issue and how we might collectively learn from one another to approach these issues in ways that can lead to lasting solutions.

My best to you in your new role and thank you again for caring ENOUGH to make the leap of faith to serve in this way!

All the best, Marv Baldwin, Foods Resource Bank

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