Empowering Indigenous Women Within the Confines of Cultural Traditions
Brief summary of presentation of information made
This was a very basic instruction for working with others of a different culture (use of the term indigenous was misleading as applied to any culture than one’s own). The whole can be summed up by the the final recommendations.
- Work through the local elders/chiefs –those holding the power in that place
- Need the buy-in of men
- Stay abreast of local politics but do not get involved
- Be non-judgemental of their culture
- Give only what is needed. Too much infused wealth creates conflict.
Unfortunately they gave as an example something that happened as something not to do – insisting on taking a photograph in a Muslim village with a cross that they had brought. This I believe arose from their policy of letting anyone who had donated, go with them on a mission trip.
What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?
The Salvation Army has learnt from many years of development work and the majority of those working cross-culturally have learnt to be humble in their approach and willing to learn from the people they are serving. However, personnel travelling to another culture need to be well prepared and instructed on how to behave whether they are going for a few days or a few years.