Once again, I am somewhat behind on my blog but I wanted to share my experience with Mercy Corps and Ed Schlossberg last Monday. Our class headed down to Battery Park to visit the Action Center to End World Hunger which was developed for Mercy Corps by Ed Schlossberg's design firm ESI Design.
"Mercy Corps works amid disasters, conflicts, chronic poverty and instability to unleash the potential of people who can win against nearly impossible odds." Their Action Center was created to educate and empower visitors by allowing them to experience many of the challenges faced worldwide via interactive programs. The center consists of several stations that inform the visitor and then encourage an inmediate call to action by providing ways of helping if you only have a few minutes, days, weeks or years to contribute and help the cause.
I ended up giving "one minute of my time" by becoming a fan of Mercy Corp via facebook but there are many other simple ways in which we can help. I intend to go revisit their site http://www.actioncenter.org/ and make a more substantial contribution and so can you.
Ed Schlossberg and Michelle Milleneux explained to us the thought process behind creating the Action Center and Ed walked us through many of the stations to show how each one worked and the problem that it addressed. Perhaps, what I found most interesting is that he mentioned that the aim was "less education, more action". I guess sometimes we get bogged down in trying to educate everyone that we forget to create important and effective solutions that will engage us and cause to act right away.
I was also very interested in the comment made by Robert Sherman's, Executive Director of the Action Center, where he mentioned that Mercy Corps sees each country's instability as an opportunity for grass roots efforts to rise. I couldn't agree with him more. It is the challenges that force us to think differently and come up with solutions that probably hadn't been though of in the past. It also forces those who had left the problems for others to resolve, to take action and ownership of the problem. I was also happy to hear a comment that emphasized positive thinking rather than that of defeat.
NOTE: My camera's battery had died and I had to find a replacement for the charger, therefore I was unable to take photos for several days. Peyton, who is also participating in this course, has taken some great shots and is sharing them along with her experiences on her blog http://whatcanyoucreate.wordpress.com/. She has been very gracious in allowing me to post some of her photos on my blog as well.