Collaboration – the way ahead

Sometimes we think we can go it alone in life, dealing with things that come across our path in our own way and working out our own solutions to life’s problems. However, in our more reflective moments, we become aware of the benefit of sharing thoughts and ideas with others in an attempt to get a better solution. It’s certainly a hot topic at the moment for us in the UK.

Sometimes we think we can go it alone in life, dealing with things that come across our path in our own way and working out our own solutions to life’s problems. However, in our more reflective moments, we become aware of the benefit of sharing thoughts and ideas with others in an attempt to get a better solution. It’s certainly a hot topic at the moment for us in the UK.

When it works, collaboration means that we are greater than the sum of our parts. We gain from the wisdom and experience of others and they, hopefully, benefit from our insights. This is certainly true of our work in Africa. Africa cannot be reduced to a simplistic set of problems and solutions; it is a vast continent of many cultures and economic and social interdependencies which we cannot hope to fully understand. Our partners in Africa have been a great help over the years, not least in helping us to understand some of the cultural complexities which have had a major effect on the way we’ve gone about our work.

There are also the specialists who have vast experience in specific areas of work. Over recent years the microfinance projects we have set up in Uganda have benefited enormously from the expertise of the Five Talents organisation. Our current work in resettling children from Komamboga into families would not be possible without the help of Retrak.

St Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, gave the helpful analogy of being many parts but one body. All of us have a role to play; we just need to find out what it is and then get to work, all the time realising that none of us can really be effective unless we are part of a bigger whole.

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