Seven days from today, I will be in Sri Lanka with my ten fellow volunteers seeing the good co-op and credit union development work that takes place in-country. The strategic purpose of this trip is to open the eyes of these Canadian volunteers, so that that we can return home and raise funds for the worthwhile work of CDF. CDF funds growth and development programs based on co-operative values, to help people and communities around the world work their way out of poverty.
I am excited about the journey and the outcomes. I know from past experience, having travelled as a volunteer with CCA to Ghana, Malawi and Thailand that the co-op people we will meet will be amazing and inspiring. My work colleagues at First West Credit Union are supportive of this adventure and they seem anxious for me to leave and not too concerned about when I get back. I like to think that is how credit union people behave when they care about you!
My family is different of course. My wife and I have seven children, with the three youngest ones aged 2 yrs, 4 yrs and 7 yrs. My younger kids want me to take some pictures of the elephants that I will see. Even though I explained to them that I am working with co-ops, that this is not a safari, they are adamant that the elephants are everywhere. I will see what I can do.
Photo: Elephants at Ampara, by Ingrid Fischer CCA Africa Director, formerly stationed in Sri Lanka
My bags are not packed but I do have a mental list, which means I will leave several important items behind. Oh well, I know that we will be in good hands and that the hospitality that we will receive will be great.
Please check our blog and I will keep you all up-to-date on the trials, tribulations and learning that our team encounters on this great co-op journey in Sri Lanka and beyond.
By: Barry Delaney