Connecting local initiatives to global goals
I have trouble seeing how a development initiative that doesn’t create meaningful connections among local, foreign and international realities can have a sustainable impact. The way we live our lives here in Canada, and the way we structure our society, affects the way people live their lives elsewhere. The way we construct the reality of Canadian society changes the reality of other people throughout the world.
This is not an original observation by any stretch of the imagination. It’s something that’s been stated and re-stated by far better people than me. And it’s not just a reflection on how our economic and political decisions have material consequences for other countries. It’s a statement that has deeper moral and spiritual implications.
I think it would be naive to suggest that the inequalities present in the world are purely economic and political in their causes. They just aren’t. It’s become a truism that there is enough food in the world to feed its population adequately. And while we certainly need to develop more effective means of distributing goods to those in need, without moral and spiritual development that combats our basic state of selfishness and allows us to recognise people next door and millions of miles away as our true brothers and sisters, the material advancements will not have lasting impact.
For these reasons, Farhana and I are spending time and effort thinking about how to connect our local service initiatives to our international maternal health fundraising goals. On Friday 21 October, we’re launching our first “Serve to Save” event where we will offer service to mothers in Toronto and invite local businesses to sponsor the event through contributing to International Development Relief Foundation’s maternal health projects overseas.
These events will represent an attempt on our part to explore the relationship between the importance of motherhood here and there, and the challenges mothers face across the globe.
Improving maternal health in Bangladesh, Zambia and Zimbabwe requires us to appreciate at a profound spiritual level the value of mothers everywhere and the moral imperative our faiths present us with to honour and serve them.