Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Note of Encouragement from Yves Breton

From: Yves Breton
Date: 2009/03/13
(... continued)

Thank you for your message.

When you wrote to me last year, I understood that you wished to launch a training program that would have included a number of meetings or seminars with participative techniques and that the practical methods I suggest in OK Development would help your associates and trainees come to grips with the issues their communities are confronted with, define their goals and actions and learn to manage their development activities adequately.

Since I have lived in the Maritimes and been to the Atlantic provinces many times, I still believe that your project, no matter its scale, is worthwhile and essential. (The Atlantic area is not alone, since effective development tends to be neglected in most Canadian regions.)

In a nutshell, okay development, i.e. not the costly and disappointing phony type, rests on sound assessments and decisions.

The process you were contemplating would have done wonders along those lines. The timelines may shock certain people who expect results in a few months, but they are not excessive: most worthy development endeavours take about three years. That may look long, but the learning process that goes with the activity is so effective that the other plans take less time to set up and their implementations are more diligent.

A word about my background. My book is a condensed guide based on the knowledge and experience that I have acquired over the decades. The United Nations' and their specialized institutions' (such as Unesco) broad development theories and programs have inspired and led me. (I planned and directed seminars for the United Nations Association in Canada for several years). I have been involved in all sorts of projects: education (e.g.: making our schools proactive community-friendly institutions): setting up community radio stations; developing economic (e.g. keeping our tourists longer; enhancing the appearance of our towns and villages); promotion of self-help projects, etc.

I am a cofounder of a new museum in Ottawa (Vanier Museopark) and I have been the chairperson of its research, development and programming committee since we launched it in Oct. 06. This has been an interesting development project. Tourists from as far as Texas, Saskatoon, Vancouver, etc. visit our museum that helps Ottawa entertain its visitors.

I am self-employed, very active professionally (evaluation committees, talks, book-writing, book fairs and volunteer work, etc.). Development is like the arts: age is unimportant because it is one's abilities that count. And, the accomplishments are so rewarding that I do not understand why some people deprive themselves of the pleasure that community-building provides.

In short, my book reflects the fields that I have covered.

You obviously wish to promote development in your area. Let me say this if you do not mind: reward yourself and make your dreams come true.

Yves Breton
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