I was excited to see this wonderful article about our giving partner Mano a Mano International. This Minneapolis based organization, founded by a Bolivian man and his wife, is a true example of making change from the bottom up. Mano a Mano has been collecting medical supplies to send to Bolivia, a country with some of the highest rural poverty rates in the world, for over 20 years. In addition to medical supplies, Mano a Mano works with local communities to build health clinics and to help those who are most vulnerable living in remote areas.
I have been so impressed with the work Mano a Mano does in part because as a historian I have studied and taught about colonialism, and colonial histories teach us the dangers of attempts to impose change from the top down without the agency, consent, and collaboration of those being "helped." At Bennison Gives we work with many grassroots development and health organizations that are integrally involved in local communities in some of the poorest regions of the world. Mano a Mano is a terrific example of an organization doing tremendous good not only in providing medical services but also in empowering and engaging local communities in this change for good. It is only in working together in partnerships with local communities, in the universal language of respect, love, and hope, that effective change transpires.
Please read this wonderful article about Mano a Mano in the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, and please see our website and Facebook pages to learn more about the life changing work they are doing in Bolivia.