So a couple of months ago, I wrote an essay for an opportunity to build a school in Guatemala. Only seven people from my organisation of 500+ would be chosen. I was number eight. The runner up. If someone dropped out of the mission trip, then I would be the next in line.
Yep - you guess it. I received the call -- I'm going to build a school in Guatemala! Wanna read my entry? ....
How will this experience help you better understand what it's like to Be There for our clients?
Access to education should be a basic human right, but for many developing nations, poverty stricken communities are unable to provide proper education for their children which only reinforces the cycle of poverty. Uneducated and disadvantaged childhoods mean as an adult you are still uneducated and disadvantaged. A vicious cycle you can never escape. So, you cannot put a price on a good education – especially in a poverty stricken country with seemingly no hope.
Building a school not only provides a group of young children an opportunity for a better future, but also offers a group of adults an opportunity to grow. To create a sense of team among an unlikely bunch working together towards a common goal. To encourage those from a developed country to appreciate the basic rights we often take for granted. To remind us to be humble and charitable. But most of all, to provide hope to a community who feels forgotten.
While a small incident can never compare to the above described scenario, a client who is traveling to a remote area where they do not speak the native language nor understand the native customs will quickly find themselves feeling uneducated and disadvantaged. In these instances, ‘being there’ for a client is more than just going through the motions but rather providing hope to someone who feels lost and alone. It is about connecting with the client when she is afraid. It is about compassion and going above and beyond what is required. It is about being innovative and recognising that the easy answer might not be the best answer.
So while the question posed to me is how will this experience help me better understand how to ‘be there’ for our clients, I cannot help but think that without education and a little love these young children may never have the opportunity to be our client. Right now, they need us to ‘be there’ today – with no commercial gain – with no ulterior motives – with only love.