Guess I’ve got Brain Problems!

I’ll start this, my THIRD (and perhaps, most prompt–promptest, if you will) blogpost by considering what the reading was saying in the context of a mission statement, or objective.

What the Author seems to be saying is that the objective of development is to create liberal, democratic states with good civil rights, economic freedoms, and social equality.

I think that we, as an organization, must realize that we are not out to change the fundamentals of Honduras. Yes, Honduras will be fundamentally changed by what we are doing, but that will be change derived from the actions of Hondurans, not by US. we’ll be enablers.

“Overcoming [the persistence of poverty, unfulfilled elementary needs, famine, hunger, violation of political freedoms and basic liberties, neglect of the interest and agency of women, environmental threats, threats to sustainability of economic and social lives] is a central part of the exercise of development.”

On this, i respectfully disagree. I reiterate: This may be the end result, but it is not the objective.  Illich would have a fit if he was ever forced to engage this author (whose name i can’t find on a cursory search) in a debate. We have already defined ourselves as a Micro-Financing institution. The previous reading established that we need to focus on the Clients, and focus on what it is Micro-Financing institutions do. This reading is contradictory in that it says we must try to solve EVERY social problem in a developing country. Heck, we can’t even solve all of these problems in our OWN country, and theres 300 million of us pulling in 301 million directions.

So I say, as an alternative to what the author of this reading is saying, that we pick one. since we’re a micro-financing institution, it shouldn’t be that hard–the “threats to sustainability of economic lives” pops out at me. Our function is economic, our purpose should be the same. Don’t send a banker to do a social workers job, as the saying i just made up goes.

That said, here is what i propose our mission statement should be:

La Ceiba MFI exists to increase the financial security of the citizens of [Town X] in Honduras.

I was going to say “let me break it down” but really everything is understandable with the exception of “Increase the financial security”.

Here is why thats how i phrased things, and why i feel its optimal.

1- Its not idealistic. The idealistic form of “increase financial security” is “Alleviate poverty”. Having a mission statement that is not Idealistic allows us to be reasonable. when making decisions, we can consider things incrementally, rather than point A to point B.
2- As I said, its incremental. “increase financial security” to me, means ensuring that our clients see the metaphorical sun on the horizon, and that money stops becoming an issue. Instead of slippery-slope “either or” dilemmas, it becomes a matter of “which-do-i-buy-first”.
3- Stating our mission statement is “financial security” based means that we can ensure that every step we take accomplishes our mission in some way. again, the idealistic alternative would mean everything we do is a step TOWARDS accomplishing our mission, which philosophically is unattainable.

Therefore, i assert that my mission statement is efficient and effective, and (to include another e-based buzzword) equitable. Any thoughts or improvements?

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