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About the Author

Clare Herbert
Development Consultant (Kildare, Ireland)

I am a development consultant and educator, blogger and writer. My background is in communications, non-profit management and political work. My interest in international development bred from a period spent working in Zambia in 2007. Please take a look at my website clareherbert.com, for more biographical information, or feel free to contact me for more information.

Post

Where to now, friends?

Published 03rd June 2010 - 4 comments - 2439 views -

The Journey So Far…

has been amazing. I have really enjoyed participating in this competition with such dedicated and informed bloggers. I have learned from you, been challenged by you and written about topics I never thought I would. It’s been fantastic to be a part of this and even if I go no further within the competition, I am delighted to have taken part.

My motivation:

I had a very clear motivation for taking part in this competition: a quotation by Martin Luther King. Indeed, this quote has informed many of my life and career choices in recent years.

“Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world. This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality. We aren’t going to have peace on Earth until we recognize this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality. “

As King elaborates, the bread you eat was grown, baked, packaged, delivered and sold. The computer you’re reading this on went throw a long, complex process of being designed, made, tested, packaged, distributed and sold.  What happens in a dirt classroom in Namibia, should matter to me at home in Ireland. How a woman is treated in a doctor’s hut in the Phillipines, should matter to those of you reading from the comfort of a warm house.

We are all interconnected. The food you eat, the water you drink, the cars you drive, the holidays you take and the choices you make all have a direct impact on the Developing World. 

Bombs built in deserts explode in supermarkets. Terrorists taught in mud huts attack commuters on their way home. Airplanes that fly me on holidays, contribute to climate change and dramatically shorten the rainy season in Kenya.

And, that’s why I care.

It’s because I am living at the expense of others. Because I am indirectly and often directly contributing to hundreds of thousands of daily deaths. Because I damage the environment. Because I eat cheap food, as developing world producers are priced out of the market. Because I sometimes shop in Primark because it’s cheap.  Because I can’t always find Fair Trade products, but still don’t forego my chocolate fix. Because I make a thousand little choices everyday that change the lives of others.

And, because I want to do better.

I want to make better, wiser, more sustainable choices for myself, for the planet and for the millions of lives lost because of me. And, because I want to inform you and the wider world that we CAN be the change we want to see in the world. It si possible that we end global suffering. We don’t need more money or more resources or more knowledge. We simply need the WILL to do it. The ambition, the drive, the determination. And, the good news is that those things are free.

(Picture via Time magazine)

Moving Forward…

So – as we face into the last 2 months, I am eager to write as much as I can about the issues I care about.

I am also eager to hear from you. What would you like me to write about? What topics do you think I need to cover before this wonderful experience comes to an end? What suggestions do you have? Do you prefer my cultural writing, or my rants? Would you like more on personal development or more on international development? What do you want to read about? Are there questions you would like answered?

You can:

Leave a comment below.  Pop me an email (in confidence) to clareherbert1 AT gmail DOT com.  Send it to me via Twitter @clareherbert. Whatever you like. If you want to remain anonymous, that’s cool.

Please don’t be shy. I look forward to hearing from you.

Lastly …

Make I may a small request?

Nuance.

I think the biggest casualty in discussions about development is nuance. Too often we search for an all-encompassing answer. Something resolves the question and removes the discomfort of indecision. There are never easy answers when it comes to questions as complex, dynamic and important as development. There are no catch-all solutions, no cast iron guarantees, no dead certs.

So, as we debate and discuss in the coming weeks, I hope that we can keep nuance in mind. The inconvenient little asides, the ever-changing circumstances, the endless pros and cons that come with every permutation as we try to solve the unending equation that is international development.

As always, dear readers, thanks for listening.

I look forward to our last few weeks together.

Clare


Category: Equality | Tags:


Comments

  • Clare Herbert on 03rd June 2010:

    You guys might also like to ask via my formspring account http://www.formspring.me/clareherbert


  • Iris Cecilia Gonzales on 04th June 2010:

    How about more of your development projects Clare? I’d love to continue hearing about these projects grin


  • Giedre Steikunaite on 04th June 2010:

    “Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world.”

    What a good one! Wish it’d hit more people…

    Clare, I’ve already told you in your other post that I love your rants. They make a lot of sense, make you laugh and think. I would therefore like more of them. smile

    As for topics, I believe you can use your experience in the field. Eg what do the kids say about Disney princesses?

    Oh, and isn’t it 3 months left until the end of this wonderful experience? June July and August.


  • Radka Lankašová on 04th June 2010:

    Clare,

    I agree with one thing in your great post - if there is a will, there is a way. Thanks for reminding me.


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