Where to focus our efforts?

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A few years ago in Thailand I spent an evening discussing with Niklas/SWE, who had resently curbed down his involvement in CISV in favor of hands-on local charity work. Essentially, it's difficult to say where best to direct your efforts, if you are willing to invest your free time into doing something. good. To be fair, most people don't chose CISV, because it's the best way to change the world, but for a number of other reasons (like this one)  I don't want to discuss here - at any rate, I think it's always important to reconsider if your efforts could better be used elsewhere.

Helene/DEN sends me an interesting excerpt that adds another point to the (never-ending) discussion, of who among the NGOs and IGOs is actually best at changing the world for the better:

"The number of people who die before the optimum lifespan is 60000-100000 per day, or about 20 million per year. They die from lack of clean water, clothing, shelter, access to medicines and doctors, etc. - and they are dying unnecessarily in the sense that they all would be alive if the world's goods were more evenly distributed. To this waste of life, we could then add what concerns of our media much more: the much fewer people dying in the 30-40 wars, that are continually taking place around the globe. About 25 million people have died as a result of war since 1945, it is "only" 1,140 people per day, representing 1 / 50 of those who die in the structural, economic emphasized violence. Positively, you can formulate it this way: If you want to do something good and save lives, then it is more important to work against the error evolution than war." (Jan ├śrberg: the chapter "Ondskab i det globale samfund", from the book "Ondskabens psykologi", 2004)

This notion is very much in line with what we find in Mosquito tactics - that peace is much more than just the absence of war: We're talking about economical injustice that is apparently much more violent than all wars taken together. Transferring this idea to CISV, I'd say, we are an organization that not only opposes war as a way of solving conflicts, but also strives for peace in the sense of a more economically just world. Maybe this should be emphasized in the content of our programmes and the way we communicate our philosophy. 
 

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This page contains a single entry by Nick published on October 22, 2010 8:28 PM.

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