Just read this on Itinerant and Indigent, one of the aidblogs I following. Phil, an aidworker in Afghanistan, writes about his struggle to continue believing in the "Cause". The "raison d'être" of an aidworker:
Why do we keep trying here? I am less and less sure that we achieve anything. I know, I know now that this work is not about us feeling good, or developing our CVs. And I am not an aid junkie, living on the high of the emergency, the thrill of saving lives. But I would like to see permanent progress here in some form, in my lifetime. I am less convinced that will happen, or at least less convinced that there is much I can do to expedite it.
It seems I follow a God of lost causes. I am not sure how I feel about that. As Nathan says, ‘I have joined the long defeat’.
I wonder how many of the long term aidworkers have this struggle. How many years does it take before we let our shoulders hang down, or bail out, or stop caring, or continue running with our eyes closed, or invent the famous "signs of improvement"..
How many years have we been in Afghanistan? In Pakistan? In Ethiopia? Niger? DRC?
Add on top of the lack of progress, the security risks every single aidworker runs in some of these places, and you wonder...
I think the only way to cope in the longer run is to check out for a while and come back with new hope. In a different country. Another project. And for the rest, continue holding on, in the faith that humanity is basically good.
PS: If you know where the picture is taken, I guess you can call yourself an "ancien"... Start counting the days The Doubt will come.
PPS: Phil.. Hang in there, buddy!