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The power of neighbors

The power of neighbors

Comparing response to disasters in Ghana and the U.S. by Barbara Ballenger for Episcopal Relief and Development:

Staff from Episcopal Relief & Development, including members of our Ghana-based team, spent a Saturday in early October volunteering for disaster recovery efforts in Staten Island. A few days later I chatted with Program Officers Cletus Asare and Priscilla Amuah. They know well how the agency’s international programs help hard-hit communities in Africa rebuild after a crisis. This was the first time they had seen such work in the United States. I asked them how the two compared. They said they were struck by the disparity in the United States between those who have resources and those who do not, and how people are still waiting for help to rebuild.

Priscilla commented that, had such a disaster happened in a village in Ghana, the neighbors would have rebuilt their community by now. Not perfectly, she said, and certainly not to the standards demanded by US zoning and building laws. But no one would be without a home. Cletus and Priscilla spoke highly of the abundant resource that spells recovery in Ghanaian villages: the power of neighbors.

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