We hear the phrase “capacity building” a lot these days. It is easy to think this means its just the latest buzz word in a world full of buzzwords. So, today, we will talk about capacity building, since we are doing a run on the workshops AIL holds. These workshops may seem pretty small in the overall theme of things. Fifty to a hundred people at a time, a day long to a year long. Not earthshaking, not flashy. We don’t use impressive technology or hold press releases. They are simple and we design them to be easily taught and absorbed. Each and every one of them is the next step in capacity building. Small numbers ripple out to have large effects. Every face in the picture below is the face of a survivor, dedicated to building a better life for the small ones also shown.
From our first aid training, to public speaking, teaching how to use the media effectively, or how to lead, AIL trains people where they live to invest in the community they live in. The people who undergo our training take these skills and benefit the entire region. Because everything AIL teaches is rooted in peace and democracy, our students move forward teaching the same. When AIL needs to rapidly expand, such as when the food crisis hit August of 2021, we knew who in each town had cars, gas, didn’t have a job, or kids to watch. Knowing that meant we saved lives and got people shelter and food in areas no one else had access too. Capacity building is just an official way of saying training people who live where you work. Train teachers to teach in their community. Hire doctors and nurses to work in their neighborhoods.
Capacity building, why do it?
So, why do we do it? Not only do local agents already know everything we need to know about the people, they want to live in a peaceful place. They protect the clinics and schools, because they own them. They worked for them. Someone gave AIL a building to use as a school or Women’s Learning Center. Someone else sent a daughter to teacher training. With ownership comes responsibility, love, and dedication to the IDEA, not just a building. When we build capacity, we tell people we trust them. We trust they know whats best for their community, for their families. Every workshop we hold is an expression of that love and trust. The people return that love and trust with love and trust of their own. Eventually we build a safety net across the country. One community at a time. This is why we do it. This is why it is a focus all over the world. Teach and act in love, with respect, show trust, and it will come back.