The last few months have been a real creative down period for me, and it’s began to take its toll. Being bogged down with tedious applications and writing tasks does not induce joy of life! More than this, I have a feeling that most of the highly uncreative tasks I carry out have a very low success rate and little impact. Not good.
So lately I’ve been reflecting a lot about my role and prospects in the field of work I’ve pursued for the past 10 years; i.e. in the world of Palestinian NGOs. I increasingly have a feeling that the way things work… well, simply doesn’t work. And the recent period has been one of reflection, evaluation and learning. Without mechanisms in place that guarantee some level of long-term financial sustainability, small community organisations in particular have an increasingly difficult time implementing their long-term goals. In the current situation, where even small project funds are increasingly hard to come by, many organisations end up working towards inefficient short-term goals that are largely dictated by international donors.
On this topic, I recently came upon a humbling and funny TED talk - Want to help someone? Shut up and listen! - by Ernesto Sirolli, talking about the damage international aid has done in Africa, and the alternative ways he found to help entrepreneurs in developing countries establish thriving small businesses. Not by dictating their terms, but simply shutting up(!) and listening to what people want and need.
This talk led me to explore a range of books and other resources on the subject of social entrepreneurship and how to develop more efficient modes of operation for non-profit organisations. This learning process is still ongoing, but many ideas are brewing in my head… It’s time for some kind of change. Exactly what kind is still unclear. But if you have ideas you would like to share or projects you would like to cooperate on, feel free to drop me a line!