Describing the Yennenga Philosophy
Any truly committed aid worker would stand up on demand and deliver an electrifying sales pitch to assure us of the relevance of specifically their organisation. I can hardly think of anyone with a more sound base to do so than Stina Berge.
Firstly, of course, because Yennenga Progress sincerely tries to meet all the complex preconditions required to make development assistance really meaningful and sustainable, without shortcuts. But maybe even more significant is her unparalleled and almost lifelong experience from “the field”. In my professional life, I have liaised with numerous (and also worked for some) Swedish NGO:s, such as Sida, the UN and other stakeholders and come across projects on site in well over 30 countries worldwide – and rarely does one find a person with such profound knowledge and insight.
You get a glimpse of this in yet another episode of filmed interviews made by Röda Korset’s Folk High School, where Stina describes the Yennenga philosophy. This is not a European elaborating on African beneficiaries, this is a person talking about life in “my home village”.
I specifically note one sentence, rarely formulated when we westerners outline our “humanitarian assistance”: Stina emphasizes how fundamental it is to entrench the belief that “we can actually stay in our village, we ourselves can build a good life here!”
As a member of the Yennenga board in Sweden, I am given the task to write these short news stories, so I may not be totally un-biased. But after many years in the aid- and relief sector, I am willing to prove my case.
Watch the interview with Stina (in Swedish) here: