One of the most beautiful, and most subtle, components of Outreach’s work alongside our partners is the internal transformation. It takes place in community members as they work together to take an active role in addressing the issues they face.
There’s a step beyond the real-time challenges of logistics and budgets, which can be resolved through discussion and creativity. Maybe even more importantly, there’s the fundamental challenge of stepping outside one’s comfort zone to better serve the greater good of the group.
The new experiences start early, and continue apace as a given project progresses. Team members learn to:
- Speak up during group meetings.
- Volunteer for leadership roles.
- Learn new skills. Phone calls and in-person visits to resource institutions and government offices.
- Correctly complete paperwork.
For community members who have never asserted themselves before, it’s all new, and frequently daunting. Luckily, between like-minded, motivated neighbors and Outreach’s experienced facilitators, team members find a lot of support. And there are a lot of great examples to follow. Every step they take is a step forward, in the footsteps of those working toward the same goal.
Renelyn runs a community-led rice loan program in the Philippines to provide families with food between harvests. She reflected on some of the new experiences and challenges she’s encountered in her relatively new role as a leader:
“Because of this project, I experienced for the first time entering a big bank in the city and observed how a bank transaction is done. I also learned how to do bookkeeping for the fund collected. But I do not yet know enough to do things correctly every time. I’m still learning, and teaching others what I know.”
The courage and tenacity women like Renelyn possess represents one of the core elements of Outreach’s work: The bravery to trust oneself, and the selflessness to do so in the service of others. Before you know it, bam, you’re an inspiration to people everywhere. Great work, Renelyn!
How to Help
Step up! Support women like Renelyn and the example they set for others. Donate now!