Tim Finan, a leading anthropologist here in
This future though that Lacquian envisions seems hazy if you look at the present situation. Are we are really laying the foundation for a sustainable future?
It depends on what lens you use.
I, for example, was not aware that GILAS expanded so rapidly in so short a time. Truly amazing.
Boy Montelibano, Tony Meloto, and the other good folks at GK are of course showing how Lacquian's Philippine paradise is being shaped. My initial observations of the strengths of initiatives of GK and AFI, aside from the more obvious potentialities of NGOs, are:
- A point of convergence. GK leaders were quite insightful on this. GK sites, organized at a community level with a strong community, work, and moral ethic, present other NGOs specializing in niche services the opportunity to work at the community level. Barriers to entry are vastly reduced. It thus enables a more comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to capacity building for communities and their residents.
- High level, good quality communication. Development initiatives are hampered by costly, inefficient, ineffective communication among project partners, stakeholders, and beneficiaries. The retention and transmission of institutional knowledge or the shared mental model are also, at times, not effected. GK seems to be overcoming this difficulty because it is organized around a faith-based movement that values and promotes openness and timely communication. Embedded in its 13-weekly sessions in its Christian Life Program (CLP) and values transformation program for GK beneficiaries is a passion for sharing and articulating one's thoughts not only on spirituality but of the needs of the family and community. Coupled with the seven pillars (ministries/ goals) of Couples for Christ and the weekly meetings of CFC families, GK has a highly coordinated group of helpers and beneficiaries. Firms pay top consulting fees to achieve what CFC/GK organically develops in its activities.
- Diffusing power. Organized communities, in touch with one another, with transnational links, working towards economic sufficiency and adequate housing at the community level will eventually break the bonds of dependency on politicians, bureaucrats, and millenarian groups. The goal is to develop and expand an educated and aware middle class. Thousands of socially conscious middle class communities spread all over the country will be the tip of spear that will pierce the battle hardened shield of power brokers in the country. As you know, power is of several dimensions and go beyond the 4G of guns, goons, gold, and now girls. The power civil society is generating is based on a higher moral ground and legitimacy and supported by knowledge, capacity building, equitable and trusting relationships, and increasing social commitment to one another.
The fish are biting.
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