Paulo Freire and my project


Just a quick note about the issues of colonialism, neo-colonialism, etc.  Nepal was never conquered in the colonialist sense, a fact of which the Nepalese are justly proud.But they still depend on foreign aid.

If you have not read the book “The Pedagogy of the Oppressed” – you should.

here is a link to the Amazon page for it:

http://www.amazon.com/Pedagogy-Oppressed-Paulo-Freire/dp/0826412769

and you can read summaries of the book, reviews etc. so I won’t bore you with those here.

It’s an oldy but goody book which was a big hit in its day in informing social theorists. Paulo Freire was a Brazilian writer who served to record many of the ideas regarding “liberation Theology” and explored how to serve those who live in Low Income Communities. In a post-colonialist world, a lot of the issue is how to serve without feding your innate desire to be superior to those being served.

The application that this book has for me, is to remind me that just because I am doing this does not mean that I am “better” than those I serve, and that collaboration is the key to happiness and success. Every development worker needs to read this. ( and by the way, I am always interested to learn new books that might help…send them along!). I have been re-reading it this spring as I have had an Independent Study student who wishes to be a Christian Missionary to Africa. It was the first book I assigned.

I guess the lessons is to go into this with an open mind and respect for the situation on the ground,  and to be prepared to adjust as things progress.  In my more thoughtful moments, this is what I consider.

Joe

About Joe Niemczura, RN, MS

Experienced nursing educator and problem-solver. I have fifteen years of USA nursing faculty background. Add it with fifteen more devoted to adult critical care. In Nepal, I started teaching critical care skills in 2011. I figure out what they need to know in a Nepali practice setting. Then I teach it in a culturally appropriate way so that the boots-on-the-ground people will use it. I travel outside of Kathmandu Valley as well. When the recent violence happened, I knew the cities - I had trained people in those locations. One theme of my work has been collective culture and how it manifests itself in anger. Because this was a problem I incorporated elements of "situational awareness" training from the beginning, in 2011. Global Health Nursing is not all sweetness and light; not solely milk & honey and happy moms and babies.
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