One of the things that working with the beneficiaries of Bal Suraksha Abhiyan Trust taught me was that children have more resilience than most people believe or give them credit for and can endure a number of horrific hardships and still maintain a smile and pure enjoyment. They can make many decisions on their own about their wellbeing and we should listen to what they have to say. They deserve the ability to make decisions about their own lives and we can provide good guidance, support and positive learning environments for them.
From my experience in Kavre, Nepal, I learnt the value of community support for individuals and how critical it is. Working in these communities it is clear to see that without the network and social support of their neighbours and family, individuals would suffer a great deal more. From the perspective of working in these environments, it is integral to have community support for projects, not just individual interest, and to be able to see the needs of the community as a whole. The relationship is often reciprocal – what benefits and empowers an individual will benefit the community and vice versa, and knowing and working with that in mind you can create a greater difference. This has also given me cause to reflect on my sense of community in New Zealand, and how I can foster change and growth in the people and community around me.