It's Official

I was wondering when I'd cross over to being a "development worker". In Zambia two years ago, I never felt like one. Now that I've got the motorcycle and the uni degree, it feels a bit more real. Anyways, it's in writing now. The following is from a recent Globe and Mail article, written by a journalist that my co-workers and I spent a day showing around some water projects in Thyolo. (Also, kind of cool to get quoted in the same article as Stephen Lewis).

Then the Canadian International Development Agency launched a $13-million water-supply project for 243,000 people in more than 500 southern villages. Today, the people of Njale take clean water from a tap, and cholera deaths have stopped.

“It has helped us so much,” says Esnat John, a 42-year-old farmer who sells her bananas from a tiny roadside shop. “There were a lot of cholera cases before, but now there are none. This project has allowed us to live. We will always be grateful to Canada. Without it, we would be dead by now.”

Ms. John's story is powerful evidence that Canadian aid saves lives among the poorest of the poor – and is deeply appreciated. “I'm getting a lot of heartfelt thank-yous when people hear that I'm from Canada,” says Owen Scott, a development worker in southern Malawi for Engineers Without Borders, a Canadian group.


Now, I'm pretty sure I've never said the word "heartfelt" before (anyone?), but the sentiment behind the quote is definitely real. When my coworkers tell people I'm Canadian, and make the link between Canadian projects in my area and me, I get a lot of thanks. If you read the article, take special note of the part about Canada previously being the single largest text-book donor to Malawi - this gets Canada a lot of positive response here, as most people value education highly. Luckily for me (as a Canadian living in Malawi), people don't know yet that we've pulled out under cover of darkness.

Please read the whole article. It's really interesting. Comments are welcome. StumbleUpon

1 comment:

  1. Hey Owen,

    Looks like things are going well! Also good to hear the Canadians are doing a good job out there (more then just you of course).

    Also, in case no one has told you. The Pittsburgh Penguins have won the Stanley Cup in Seven against Detroit!