The Service Period
TRAVELING TO A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY TO WORK ON THE BASIS OF ‘SOLIDARY HUMANISM’ AND WITHIN THE AUSPICES OF INSTRUCTING IN DEVELOPMENT, IMPROVING AND CHANGING CONDITIONS BY FIGHTING SHOULDER TO SHOULDER WITH THE POOR.
In the third period, your Trio works at a Humana People to People project in the Third World. On the background of all the studies and experiences of the first six months of the program, and on the background of your life experiences as such, you have understood much about the inequality and the problems of this world and you can see that you are in a privileged position compared to so many others. You find it appropriate to use your forces and skills in a third world country fighting shoulder to shoulder with The Poor.
Now, you have come to deliver as a Development Instructor using your forces and abilities for the benefit of the project, doing what is necessary to improve and change the conditions of The Poor.
WORKING AS A DEVELOPMENT INSTRUCTOR
When you arrive, you receive your instructions and assignment from the Project Leadership or the Headmaster, who also presents you to the project, its people and the place, and now you are part of the project team.
Your Trio engages in practical and organizational work, fighting shoulder to shoulder with poor farmers, with women in the villages, with young unemployed men, with the whole community in a slum area or village, and with mothers and fathers to secure the health of their children.
You are fighting with The Poor to increase food production, start income generating production, secure good nutrition by starting garden farming, give children an early education by starting preschools, improve health by eradicating diseases, improve rural life by installing running water in the houses of the community, and more. In short, through your work, you take part in improving the lives of The Poor.
You are sharing your work and your life while fighting, and you are standing shoulder to shoulder to win over the obstacles; finding out how to do things, getting hold of materials, planning and implementing, calculating and making the drawing of the irrigation system, and you celebrate together when you have won the fight. You are in it together.
In this way the lives of The Poor actually and practically improve, and the individuals together with you gain skills and knowledge by bringing about changes with your efforts. This is a human and a political experience of life changing values. On top of that, the world opens up for the group of Poor who work and fight together with you. You are there. You work together. You become friends, and as you and they discover that it does not matter where we come from, we are all human, with the same basic human traits. We feel joy and sorrow in the same ways, and have the same basic needs. We laugh at bad jokes, use a shovel in the same way, and share the same grand aspirations for humanity.
Fighting with The Poor can take many shapes and forms, depending on the project where you work. It might be a well established project; it might be a very new project that is struggling to get its operation organized to Humana People to People standards. Your work in a Farmer’s Club project will be different from that in a Child Aid project, or at an nhq, or in a tce and Malaria project. You can be sure that everywhere you turn, you are needed, and the daily work in the expansion towards the future calls on all your experiences, forces, instruction skills, ingenuity, and your personal engagement and stamina.
Development instruction, fighting shoulder to shoulder with The Poor, takes place while you dig and sweat in the field, busy making new planting beds with small farmers, or while you assemble water pipes with women in a village. It also takes place while you teach farmers about nutrition, or teach and organize a village to combat malaria. It takes place when you mourn the death of a child together with the community, and days after talk with them about how to organize the local nurse to come to the village to vaccinate the children. It takes place when you assist the Project Leadership in writing reports to donors, writing part of the text, making graphs and a fine layout. It takes place when you plan, prepare and organize an event at the project, or when you use a couple of days in town to get tools and paint for free. It takes place when, working at an NHQ you figure out the basic reasons behind a problem at the Child Aid project, create a common and doable solution, and get it organized.
Whether you are together with The Poor one on one, or with many, whether doing practical or theoretical work, whether working in the community or in the office, it is the intention and the progressive character that determines whether the results of the work can be characterized as Fighting with The Poor.
Wherever you work, your tasks are defined within the necessities of the project and by the Project Leadership. You can of course, give your comments and come up with proposals at meetings and in the everyday activities, but the final say lies with the leadership of the project.