Wednesday, November 17, 2010


What is holistic community development? Well, that's a really good question. I feel like it's a lot like the phrase 'sustainable living': you hear it all the time and you use it in sentences, however you don't really know exactly what it means. Firstly, it can mean different things for different people and different organizations. For MPI, it is the base of which we do all of our work. We recognize that if we run an English class for children, if the children aren't healthy, how can they focus on learning? So, paired with our English and Art classes. We faciliate a teeth-brushing program and also help with a feeding program. We believe that by helping all aspects of a person's life (health, education, creative, happiness, social, etc...) that's when a person will really be able to grow.

Another aspect of holistic community development is how we nurture and utilize a Program Director's unique strengths and skills. For example, a current PD, Steph Barnett majored in Spanish and Developmental Education. She uses those skills to run a children's english class, and also volunteers at a pre-school in the community. On the other hand, Trent Draughon (another PD) who is more tech savvy than most of us, teaches the computer class.

I never knew much about holistic community development before I started working with Manna Project, but now that I do, it just makes sense.

Marcos taking some notes in Steph's english class

You can't tell by this photo
but this class is one of the hardest to teach.
The children are very rambunctious.
But, through Steph's masterly skill of working with children in Spanish
she is able to keep them focused.

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