In a comment regarding yesterday's post, my friend Safiya wondered what can be done to make a difference in peoples' lives if one does believe that Aid is Dead. This is a really intersting topic, because for all of my cynicism and burned-out state, I still believe there are ways to have a positive, meaningful, sustainable impact outside the traditional "development" model.
In my personal experience, the successful models are all on the micro-scale, grassroots in the true sense of the word. While the notion of micro traditionally refers to the amount of money at hand (micro-lending), or the size of a business (micro-enterprise), I believe the successful models are micro in the sense that they are from individual to individual, with two or perhaps three people involved in the "program".
Rico and I have one great, crowning "development" success story - that of our taxi driver, Zeca. In our minds, there is no doubt that the small intervention we did (with the help of our friend M.) is the most significant impact we will ever have in our work here in Mozambique.
Alas, I have to go to a meeting, so I can't tell Zeca's story right now. I will, however, as my next post.