Long-term sustainability

In reading Half the Sky today it discussed the importance of educating and involving women in society. In The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, David Landes investigates why Europe was able to have an industrial revolution, but not Asia or the Middle East. “He argues that one of the key forces working in Europe’s favor was openness to new ideas, and that one of the best gauges of that openness was how a country treated its women…To deny women is to deprive a country of labor and talent…”

An African proverb says this: You educate a boy, and you’re educating an individual. You educate a girl, and you’re educating an entire village.

Without proper schooling, women are treated as second-class citizens. They can’t stand up to injustice, and can’t contribute to the economy…

Thousands of non-profits and organizations—as well as individuals—are going overseas to try and build schools and educate people in need. But sometimes being this direct isn’t the best solution. In some cultures and countries there is this negativity that comes with foreigners “invading” their land and telling them “the right way.” Instead, people need to be more conscientious of cultures and traditions. They need to step back and empower the people: Find a leader within the country and let them make the changes. Sometimes what the really need is to be given a voice, rather than you voicing their rights for them.

I believe if more organizations worked and pooled their resources together, more good could be done in the world at a more efficient and rapid rate. Rather than bombarding countries with western knowledge and ideals, we need to provide them with simple tools such as funding for education in order for them to stand up for themselves and solve their own problems.

“If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want ten years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want one hundred years of prosperity, grow people.” ~Chinese Proverb

Sustainable living architecture that will live and grow for generations, genius! Meghalaya’s Living Bridges:

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