In the coming days I will depart for West Africa—a region of historic volatility but now showing glimmers of hope. The countries in this region are attempting to increase their communities’ standards of living. Despite the history of challenges in this region, the people have a sense of optimism that allows them to look toward the future for hope.
It is this optimism that will drive my work this summer with Skills and Agricultural Development Services (SADS). Through my fellowship with The Advocacy Project (AP), the volunteers of SADS and I will work to educate rural communities about the importance of environmental protection. Simultaneously, for those communities well aware of the repercussions from deforestation or mining pollution, we will collaborate to empower these communities to organize and defend themselves from injustice. A main component of my fellowship with AP will be to work with SADS to build their organizational capacity and help publicize their work, through blogging, photography and video content of those with whom SADS works.
These are challenging goals, but it is through the collaboration of Liberians that these goals will be realized. As much as this fellowship is to benefit me with experience organizing communities, at the same time, and equally important, this work will move only as far as the community members with whom we collaborate wish or hope to see things progress.
After a few days of training in Washington, DC, I am headed to Accra, Ghana for a brief visit before arriving in Monrovia, Liberia. And so the journey begins to a region I have been yearning to explore for several years. I hope this partnership proves intriguing and educational for me, but most importantly, helpful and useful for Liberians.
Posted By Adam Welti
Posted May 27th, 2009