Pretty Blue Birdy and Why I am doing this…

Male Resplendent Quetzal

Originally uploaded by kojo_46

You must check out Costa Rica in Flickr Explore.. The pictures are breathtaking! I’ll post some from time to time – with proper credits to the photographers ofcourse.  Please pardon my mistakes on this end, still learning how..Today’s photograph is a beautiful blue male Resplendent Quetzal. Enjoy. Many more to come!!

So why am I embarking on this trip?

Back in my days of wanting to do good for the world (I still do) I did some major research on International Development and how to get involved. Youth Challenge International (YCI) came up front and centre, over and over again. For me at the time it was not possible to get involved – I had to be Canadian or Permanent Resident, it cost a fair amount, yati yata (?). Then when I started working, I kept an eye for the right time. The opportunity finally came up at Bayer, who’s been incredibly supportive of my idea. So I just couldn’t let this rare experience pass me by.

Why this project, and for as long?

There’s much to be said about YCI’s appoach that really fits with my values.

Growing up in Bangladesh, I have watched millions of dollars in foreign aid to be used for charitable causes, such as providing food and clothing to flood victims. As noble as that approach is, I always felt a piece was missing, in that the aid of food and clothing didn’t empower the receivers. It only made them dependent on more foreign aid. It lacked a component of sustainability. In my mind, there wasn’t an opportunity to enhance the dignity of the people who were receiving the aid.

YCI’s asset based approach in my opinion addresses some of those challenges. I am thrilled to be a part of an initiative where sustainability is front and centre in mind. Working directly with the local youth in their community will empower the youth in taking on leadership roles and driving their community forward. The best part is that the approach that we will be taking will change our focus from helping “victims” to engaging talent, mining the community’s talent and resources to help it. It will force us to wear lenses of curiosity and appreciation, not just sympathy or compassion.


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