04 October 2011

Teach a man to fish

I had been very hands-on in two different sports projects in Nepal. There are several other projects where I am not actively involved, but offer advice and consulting.

As it turns out, the projects that I provide only advice to are progressing far better than the ones I was regularly involved in. The reason? The projects in which I was active in had come to rely on me like the Government of Nepal relies on foreign aid! I helped them find sponsors, secure equipment and market themselves. Unfortunately, instead of learning from me they became dependent on me, therefore nothing got done unless I was involved or I barked some orders.

On the other hand, the projects where I only provide consulting look at me as a knowledge resource and not as an NGO. The projects are eager to learn from me and work among themselves to implement some of the ideas I share with them. They know they will only get a blueprint and must be prepared to do all the heavy lifting.

The moral of my experience: Don’t give a man fish, teach him how to catch some.