Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I am because you are.

"I am because you are” is the core belief of many of the continent’s peoples.
“I am because you are” is the foundation of most African culture, affecting everything from the healing arts and family life to politics. It is at the heart of a number of lessons that can be learnt from Africa.

Lately I've been wondering when the next 'WOW! person' would enter my life and alter my ideas and approach. I met him tonight. Kumi Naidoo

I attended the Oxfam reception at the Scottish Parliament and was pleasantly surprised by the difference in Scottish compared to African Ministers of Parliament. A few of the MSPs were there wearing jeans and t-shirts, no bodyguards etc ... though there were the obligatory jokes about not standing underneath the beams and so on. The head of Oxfam gave the first speech, Jack McConnell the second and Kumi Naidoo the last and most inspiring.

A fact which has stuck in my head is that there are more qualified Malawian doctors practising in the city of Manchester alone than in the whole of Malawi!

Afterwards I chatted to Kumi and asked him 'who is he?'. He told me if I wanted to do something meaningful for my country then leave the hobnobbing to the hobnobbers and rather find ways to educate the masses, eg teach someone to read, it's one of the most important gifts you can give. However (a word he's well known for using), he reminded me that this type of work is not a sprint but it is a marathon.

Recently I have been very unhappy in my work. I met another person this evening who's a qualified social worker and immediately after I told him my occupation he launched into a rant about how social care companies never take care of their employees thus he will not work for them anymore. I had to agree. Besides that, the parts that I struggle with the most in this industry are the health and safety laws imposed by the Care Commission. They take 98% of the humanity out of the work we try to do and they replace it with paperwork, which 'keeps you safe' in the system. I don't do this type of work to be safe. If there was more common sense rather than fingerpointing I'm sure it would have a much larger impact than it does at present.
However .....
I came across a news article on iafrica about a psychiatric asylum in DRC and these are a few of the photos that were taken there.

Grrrrrrrrrr. It reminds me that rules and standards are very necessary in our crazy world. I dream of happy mediums!


Blogger ramo said...

A balance of everything is the best thing. Hope you are finding happiness in whatever you are doing.

6:11 am  

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