Working with Indigenous Communities
Last November/December, I was fortunate to spend a month in East Africa speaking at a conference and doing site visits. So many NGO’s and other charitable organizations were talking about working with indigenous communities, but it was interesting how many shades of gray there were when it came to how it was being executed on the ground.
Some of the signs that showed real partnership with the community were things like hiring locals (and treating them well), supporting the local economy, conducting discussions in the local language, being part of village meetings and letting the community set the priorities. You could also tell from the interactions with the community, who was truly welcome and making impact.
I’m curious to hear from the broader philanthropic/social enterprise community what they have learned about working with indigenous communities and what true partnership with them is all about.