For discussion

June 23, 2010 | Feature | Number 13
Canadian Mennonite |

1. Dick Benner writes that, “in Latino culture, time is not a commodity, but a gift to be enjoyed.” What experiences have you had with cultures that have a similar attitude towards time? Why do North Americans have trouble embracing this relaxed attitude about time? What is the relationship between the North American view of success and its view of time?

2. Dave Hubert says Canadian Peacemakers International (CPI) uses the best from models of other organizations such as MCC, MEDA and Habitat for Humanity. If you were helping a poverty-stricken village to improve housing, land ownership and education, what models would you use? What are some challenges of sending aid from North America? Why is it so important to have decision-making done by the villagers?

3. CPI is using computer-assisted learning in its education program. How are computers used by CPI? What is the “sweat equity” of CPI’s education program? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of curriculum? How else might computers be used for people who struggle with literacy?

4. Hubert says the ultimate goal of CPI is to “reduce the likelihood of more war in the region.” What is the relationship between poverty and conflict? How does improving lives help prevent war? What are the strengths and weaknesses in this model of peacemaking?

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