I’ve worked on a range of community development issues, both domestically and internationally, ranging from disaster response, to food security, to water and sanitation. While every project has been different, I’ve found that a cultural understanding of the task at hand is the key to sustainability.
In that respect, my work in community development has been a humbling experience. My role as a development worker is to find ways to make the voices of even the most marginalized community members heard. This method takes perseverance and patience. Yet, by listening to those at the grassroots level, I’ve encountered a current of genius that runs throughout the informal sectors. The first world could learn a thing or two about entrepreneurialism and resourcefulness from the third.
Permaculture is permanent agriculture. I spent two and a half years in Uganda working with subsistence farmers to create highly effective, small-scale gardens. The methods ensured that even the most vulnerable members of the community enjoyed nutritious diets.
Water is life. In East Africa, I've designed pit latrines for a rural school and collaborated with residents, NGOs, local government, and cartels to pipe clean water into Nairobi's biggest slum.