It’s not every day that we get the chance to meet with our counterparts from halfway around the globe. Such an opportunity presented itself in late September when nine community development officials from Africa visited Washington DC LISC.
Through an exchange program of Washington DC based Meridian International Center, representatives from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Djibouti came to learn about community development in the US and about the unique role of LISC. Their next stop was Burlington, Vermont.
It was surprising to discover that we share many of the same issues and concerns surrounding community development activities. From lack of resources and concern regarding national priorities, to the capacity issues of community based groups, it was clear that community development – no matter where it occurs- comes with a standard set of challenges.
The good news is that the exchange of ideas, information and best practices are becoming commonplace among practitioners in the field.
We hope to continue this dialogue with our new friends from Africa, and look forward to hearing of their progress as they take their experiences here in the US back home.