With a focus on community, we naturally build strong local ties, especially with delivery of health activities and small-scale infrastructure. Communities value these fundamental life lines and automatic trust is built.
Our engagement process from Day One gives us an immediate footing to be able to understand and listen to communities – what they need, what they do not want, and what impacts them. We have become known for this approach which helps to widen our network.
The networks give us access. When others do not have the ability to gain entrance into a community, we have the access. Because we base our network relationships on trust, our community partners look to us to support them to build resilience and stabilization and deliver relief when problems arise.
We work with the community at large – the vulnerable, marginalized, and minority. These are often the individuals most in need of support but have the fewest resources to access it. We immediately seek out these individuals and groups and make it clear to community leaders and representatives that we work for them equally.
And our networks do not exclude other community members – the disenfranchised and the negative influencers. Being able to access them to understand their issues and needs is directly linked to the underlying causes of poverty and conflict. While we do not work with individuals or entities that are listed, or are not supported by the communities, we do understand their perspective to understand their impact.
CVE: Engaging Negative Influencers to Provide Clean Water
In Kidal, Mali, the reality on the ground is that you cannot gain access to some key areas if you do not address negative influencers and actors in communities. Due to the security situation, no NGOs operated in Kidal despite significant basic needs.
We believed we could change that. But it required engaging these actors from the start. With our planning, experience, and approach, we listened to their grievances and shared the independent nature of our mission. Through engagement, we found a way to gain access to support communities with clean water. Our project not only operated without incident, but we were able to motivate peaceful reintegration with community-based CVE.