Like many other development aid organisations we also commit ourselves to the principle of “helping people to help themselves”. Unfortunately “helping people to help themselves” has become a very fashionable, rarely scrutinised principle, which is being used as a slogan by nearly all organisations up to the point where the phrase is actually being misused as platitude.
This is the reason why we do not use the term “helping people to help themselves” for advertising, but have clearly incorporated the principle within our project concepts:
1. Self development & self responsibility
An important point of the LCFN for successful development cooperation ist the cultural self development and through that the resulting maximum responsible of the project group. Often projects of the development policy fail because they are seen as an exterior influence within the areas to be developed.
We are convinced that development cooperation as exogenous factor oposes the human strive for self development. This often results in the rejection of development projects from the receiving groups. A further result is frequently a relationship of dependence, if foreign projects are carried out. Development has to come from within. Only then it is possible to gain the highest possible and necessary responsibiliy for a project.
We exclusively supports projects that have been developed by the project group itself. These projects can be initiated and drafted in cooperation with us we can communicate ideas and we can make suggestions, but the projects themselves should be developed and executed by the project groups.
This approach bears two advantages:
- Firstly aspired projects will only be realised by a group if they have a value within the cultural understanding of the group.
- Secondly the project group identifies itself with the project, as it is their own, self made and self administered business, which gives them new income opportunities and which promotes their cultural awarenes. The result is that through the complete liability for the project the project group develops sustainable learning and problem-solving acesses. We assume that an overall acceptance of the complete project is only possible if all these factors have been fulfilled.
The LCFN assumes that through the participation of the project group in every step of the development of the project the identification with the project increases. Those who decide to develop a project intiated by the LCFN will construct every development process of the project themselves. They are responsible for the development of ideas, the design and the implementation of decisions, as well as the establishment, accomplishmet and evaluation of the project. During all these processes they will be supported by the LCFN.
3. Low financial input
All projects can be realised without large financial input. For the establishment of the projects the project group seldomly needs resources from outside, but has to invest in man power.
We support projects indirectly (assistance, education, marketing, advertising). Apart from a few exceptions the project group will not receive financial help. The sponsor should not be recognised as such, to avoid dependency of the project group implied by the sponsor. This allows the development of self responsibility for and identification with the project.
Most of our projects live of the representation of realistic and traditional cultures of Namibian cultures and language groups. The authenticity and crediblity of the presentation are of vital importance.
We only support projects, which are - according to research of the specific cultural group - accepted as being authentic. Given that the presented parts of the culture are in fact showing the traditional culture of a certain time and group, the project group will be able to establish a new income opportunity and at the same time prohibit a further loss of their culture. Especially the regain of a new cultural identity can only be achived if the original culture is presented as authentic as possible.