Transformative Change Through Long-Lasting Relationships

BY LOIS SHAW, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

One of the things that keeps me alive and energized is when I get to kindle relationships that develop and grow cross-culturally into long-term friendships that thrive far beyond my involvement.

Why would a single mom in an informal settlement in Bulbul, Kenya, want to share her life and challenges with a retired school principal from Ontario, Canada?

Why would a wealth management professional from Virginia want to make sure a young woman in abject poverty but with academic potential gets to experience her dream of going to high school?

Why would three physiotherapists from southern Ontario fill and send a container of prosthetics and pharmaceuticals to a clinic in central Kenya?

Why would a major mergers and acquisitions manager invest in young adults in Nairobi and spend hours engaging in business development and training so they can run a successful chicken business?

It all comes down to RELATIONSHIPS. Connecting, networking, synergizing—this seems to be the nexus to bring change and often poverty alleviation in non-western, poor communities.  

I’m researching this idea of relational philanthropy and trying to understand the value of long-term relationships within this complex world. I welcome ideas and thoughts as well as experiences that might shed further light.

ON THE JOURNEY TOGETHER,

LOIS