Posted by: waterforwaslala | January 26, 2010

Disseminating the Spirit of Water for Waslala (WfW)

By Chris Lamar, a longtime supporter of WfW, who has previously lived and worked in Nicaragua

Five of us traveled to Waslala, Nicaragua last May to capture the stories of those who now have access to potable water thanks to WfW’s efforts. We listened, shared, and meditated on the importance of working together across borders to enhance each other’s well-being. Using photography, video, and notes, we recorded our experience and are currently in the midst of packaging it in hope of disseminating the spirit of WfW. The venue of which will be a revamped website, chalked full of multimedia and opportunities to get involved.

Chris Lamar in Waslala - June 2009

Disseminating the spirit of WfW? What does that mean exactly?

Within the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to work on large scale poverty alleviation projects, some of which had budgets of over $200 million dollars. Their scopes were vast and their objectives ambitious. And although I knew these large projects were helping thousands of people, I still felt something was missing, some sort of energy or momentum. My experience with WfW allowed me to better articulate that missing element.

WfW, unlike many international development organizations, is unique in that it aims to both carry out concrete objectives while also promoting awareness and developing an intercultural community. Whether it is students organizing a solidarity-driven Walk for Water or WfW Board member empowering Waslalans to take ownership of their water systems, WfW has a simple yet powerful approach: it identifies one issue – a lack of clean drinking water – in one geographic area – Waslala, Nicaragua – and builds a community capable of cultivating the sustainable spirit needed to enhance our shared well-being.

And isn’t this what we need most in today’s disjointed, polarized world – a sense of interconnectedness wrought by the practice of empathy, compassion, and self realization? The spirit and motivation behind this form of development isn’t based on national interest or personal gain. It doesn’t result in overly bureaucratic projects, wasteful spending, or insensitivity caused by reckless ambition. It’s not mindful of nationality, creed, or race. Instead, it takes on a much simpler approach, an approach based in the most powerful motivation of all: love.

Be on the look out for the new site! Just by visiting, you’re contributing.

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