In my 2022 Christmas letter to our sponsors, I mentioned a quote from the German philosopher Richard David Precht: “Morals are to a large extent a matter of self-esteem and that in turn is a matter of upbringing”.
My dear Rotary friend, Dr. Peter Werder, made this statement after his first project visit to Liberia in June 2022: “Everything is fundamentally different. It's about understanding others' priorities and circumstances. Anyone who is economically secure for no more than one day hardly plans for the following week”.
What am I getting at, dear readers? It is about the much-cited term “sustainability”. As we understand it, investments in humanitarian projects must be “sustainable”. Sure - of course I also want what we do to last a long time and be "sustainable". After 10 years of experience in a war-torn country where everything is different, my clear conclusion and my credo is: Education of young people is the key. They are the ones who can change things in the long term and live up to our claim of "sustainability".
Our current water kiosk and solar projects can save lives for a while—but not for the eternity. Our commitment to education strengthens self-esteem and the effectiveness of young people in the long term and thus their moral understanding of responsibility and long-term planning of a selfdetermined and socio-ecologically meaningful life.
Felix F. Walz
Bowier Trust Foundation Switzerland