Image courtesy of lilivanil

This is the first of three posts in The Expat Aid Worker Manifesto series. Be sure to sign up by email so you don’t miss the next ones!

As I continue to explore how to optimize work and lifestyle for our community, I want to affirm what I stand for as an expat aid worker. All worthwhile visions start with a boundary-drawing, an articulation of values to solidify and affirm the community and kindle its power. So without further adieu, and fully embracing my inner Model United Nations geek, I bring you…

Expat Aid Worker Resolution #2012.

The Expat Aid Worker Community,

Affirming that international development work means being of service in the world’s most challenging environments,

Noting with deep concern the high toll that burn-out, cynicism and other forms of personal and professional exhaustion can have on ourselves and our relationships,

Convinced that contributing to sustainable development work starts with our own choices towards living a sustainable lifestyle,

Guided by ancient and available wisdom, as well as our own international experiences,

1. Attest that it is possible to be healthy and happy while being of service in the world’s most challenging environments;

2. Declare that physical, mental and emotional health can be recovered, nurtured and sustained in every environment with the right self-care, resources and personal practices;

3. Celebrate the ongoing and evolving discovery of what makes us happy and fulfilled, honoring the fact that what makes us happy is different for each one of us;

4. Recognize the need to be supported by and the need to contribute to a thriving international community of other aid workers and agents of positive change;

5. Actively discourage attitudes and practices that promote our work over our well-being and cast us into the unsustainable and undesirable role of martyrs;

6. Express hope that our service in the world’s most challenging environments will bear positive and exponential outcomes that relieve suffering and benefit and empower families and communities affected by poverty.

If you like what you read, I hope you’ll consider sharing it with others who might enjoy it. And if you haven’t, sign up by email to receive the second installment of the Expat Aid Worker Manifesto straight to your Inbox.

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