When working in a developing country, there are many factors that Live Different needs to consider to ensure we are making the most positive and sustainable impact possible. Those who live in these communities face many difficulties; issues like access to clean water, healthcare, education, unemployment, safety concerns, and a lack of nutrition. It is therefore quite understandable that the people we work with often have their limited resources pulled in many different directions. We know that we are not equipped to solve all of the problems in a given community, and so we work hard to focus on the projects that are within our area of expertise which can result in the largest impact for the greatest number of people.
Currently, Live Different is primarily focused on building projects; new homes for families in Dominican Republic and Mexico, and a school in Haiti. We have found that concentrating our skills and resources on one type of project can make the biggest difference, rather than having our resources and attention divided between various types of programs.
Live Different recognizes that we are responsible to see that our projects are successful. This means that we strive for positive outcomes for those who are directly affected by our projects, as well as for the communities in which our projects are located, with the hope that their partnership with Live Different will have a lasting impact for years to come. Therefore, it is necessary for us to investigate, build relationships with stakeholders, and be well informed before we implement any projects. This includes partnering directly with local leaders, doing research on what programs other groups or NGO’s are doing in the same areas, and into what the local government is planning on doing in the community. This allows us to determine whether we can assist with what other groups are accomplishing, or to look for ways in which our projects could be a joint effort with the local government. This research also allows us to evaluate how past projects have succeeded or failed.
It’s necessary for Live Different to gain as much insight as possible into each community we work with because we know that while trying to help, we can actually hurt a community by overlapping other aid projects or donations, by attempting to help with issues that we are not equipped to address, or by unintentionally creating a situation of strife when one group or family appears to be receiving more help than others. Live Different is committed to the communities we work in for the long-term, and so it is of the utmost importance to us to ensure that our projects are sustainable, well executed, and that they will have a positive influence on the community well after our partnership with them has ended.