I had called a meeting with representatives from the surrounding villages and towns. The purpose was to increase communication and awareness in regards to community development. I was nervous orchestrating a meeting with chiefs and speakers who are more than twice my age but all went well. The need to translate much of my words into the Kono dialect allowed me time to carefully prepare my next thoughts.
I was excited to see the fire of pride building within the representatives as they articulated ideas about what the people can do for themselves in their villages and not just what the company can do. To begin to view the company as a partner in development and not merely as a benefactor was a huge accomplishment in my eyes. The opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas was met with an outpouring of appreciation. It is clear that they are rarely consulted by other companies in a forum approach and felt liberated by the process and fueled by each other.