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Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime - Chinese proverb

>> 6 September 2007

Today I guess is the day I need to talk about wonderful women. After the tractor journey to the South Pole, here is the story of another initiative. A colleague of mine told me about his daughter Mirjam's (founder of the Tara Initiative) travel to Nepal to start work with local orphanages. Tara's initiative is special because it does not simply build an orphanage, but goes furher toward the root of the problem.

Now you can't change the country, but you can change the people and by building a training center to teach orphanage personnel in areas such as hygiene, financial management and pedagogy, the Tara Initiative makes sure that typical problems of local orphanages can be dealt with by the local personnel.

Research in Katmandu's orphanages showed that:

  • On average there are 27 children in an orphanage and 3-4 adults work there who are on average 27 years old
  • In 80% of the orphanages there is no running water - in 96% there is no shower. No orphanage has sufficient toilets and beds.
  • The orphanages have few medecines at their disposal and medical knowledge and administration are minimal.
  • 93% of respondents say that they would like to follow a training - a mere 3% say they can pay for it.
  • 81% says they have a need for exchange of experience with other orphanage workers and another 36% say they would like to meet people from other orphanages.

The Tara Initiative tries to improve the situation of the orphanage workers who will in turn be more capable of helping the children in need.

And as the Chinese proverb says, teaching someone something, instead of just giving it to him, gets a lifetime reward.


Tara Initiative


Anonymous,  26 August 2008 at 01:47  

i just love this proverb. at first i really didn't get it. but then i just kept reading it and it finally came to me.

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