With approximately two billion people living in conditions that we, as a global community, have declared to be unacceptable, the question remains: What can we do to make a difference?
In the last 40 years of development aid, and in the hundreds of years of Colonialism prior to that, we have witnessed the subjugation of the world’s poor towards our own economic interests. Development assistance towards legitimate lasting positive impact has been few and far between. But like all evolving systems, if we can mainstream what we have learned from the outliers then we can reform the entire systems in order to effectively convert the willing passion and interest of the international community into sustained positive impact. Sustained positive change comes when we reduce unnecessary suffering and death by providing information and support that leads communities to optimize the utilization of their available resources. Human-Centered Development is a model that implements this development approach and focuses on building human capacities in order to overcome poverty and provide a new paradigm to the existing provision of goods and services.
There are countless organizations and volunteers presently investing enormous amounts of resources in an attempt to alleviate poverty in developing areas. In this broad spectrum of approaches and motives we have seen that a majority of development attempts not only run the risk of wasting time and resources, but can also result in a net negative impact within the community of focus. Despite the intention, many aid initiatives result in inappropriate development efforts, which undermine local leadership, reinforce external dependence and disempower community members. Suggested innovations such as agriculture, sanitation, water purification, are often ill-founded and can lead to life-critical opportunity costs, health risks, dead-end community initiatives and the spending of precious local emotional capital.
With critical need from the world’s poorest and an incredible availability of human and capital resources from the international community, universal and accessible education and training is required.
The Empowered Volunteer platform is focused on achieving this objective.
Empowered Volunteer is an online platform with FREE education and training for the world’s millions of active and intending poverty alleviation change agents. The founders and staff of thousands of organizations, as well as the millions of international volunteers, will be able to learn foundational information about extreme poverty and Human-Centered Development, as well as gain topic- specific specializations. In addition to this information, philosophical and
Training designed for the desirous empowerment agents to implement Human-Centered Development has the capacity to shift the millions of man-hours and billions of dollars towards more effective engagement in poverty alleviation efforts.practical-action standards will be promoted throughout the development community.
Containing hundreds of pages of text and video content, the Empowered Volunteer will be crafted by an open collaboration of industry experts, supported by a team of professional web publishers.
The online site will be designed and executed strategically to optimize web traffic by ensuring its presence on the front page of web searches for “volunteer abroad,” “international service,” “poverty alleviation,” etc. This will result in the ubiquity of Human-Centered Development content for those searching for information and opportunities online.
The content will be accessible for free by the general public. Organizations and individual users will also have the ability to log into the site and be guided through the content in a curated fashion that converts the site into a strategic curriculum resulting in certification of individuals and organizations; distinguishing those dedicated to “positive impact” standards. The site will also host a progressive, human-centered network of programs that will foster collaboration, placements and industry transformation.
The Empowered Volunteer has been in concept phase for three years and is progressing towards establishing relationships and funding that will allow a professional web publishing team to work with industry enthusiasts to develop the first iteration of content, web development and promotion.
Empowered Volunteer - Empowering You to Empower Others