Our work is guided by values we have learnt to hold dear.
We believe in transformational relationships and in learning how to listen and respect each other across very diverse cultural differences.
We work in an ethos of peace and reconciliation.
We have learnt that outcomes are influenced as much by how we do something as by the original idea, no matter how well intended.
Wisdom is a key energising and a directive factor. It comes though attentive listening. Careful implementation should inform and correct initiatives. The world is littered by badly executed, good ideas. Sometimes it is best to do nothing. Significant social factors, once identified, can constrain good intentions:-
"Every summer, one family we met in Karachi sweltered under a hot corrugated metal roof. We asked if they would like us to replace it with something else. The husband immediately said, “Yes, that would make a huge difference to all of us, we can do nothing when we are too hot“. So we asked him to consult his wife. “No, no, no”, she replied emphatically, “My neighbours would be jealous and we would be surrounded by enemies. Please don’t do this to us.”
We believe those likely to be impacted by our activities have the right to shape their implementation. We do everything we can to discover the ‘non-curriculum’, keeping things flexible and responsive. We did not replace the roof!
We embrace the wisdom within a group’s diversity, whilst encouraging local initiatives.
We embrace the responsible stewardship of resources, whilst recognising that different societies have different priorities
We shun top down committee based decision making that leaves no room for the reality on the ground. Whilst helpful in some ways, we have encountered too many problems with that approach:-
"We were appealing for funds for a rapid response to the victims of a terrorist attack in rural Punjab some year ago. “We need fans to keep the elderly alive”, was the message from leaders on the ground. “We don’t fund fans in relief packages” was the response we received from the agency we approached, “Even if they are life-saving. Nor will we fund other elements of your project if it includes these items”.
This agency was prevented from helping vulnerable suffering people in one of the hottest places in the world because a committee had predefined what could and could not be included in a ‘relief package’. These are the constraints of committee-generated policies.
CitiCare is smaller scale, retains flexibility and is informed by human responsiveness to field conditions. If something is pivotal or vital, we want to do it and we hope you do too!
We believe in equipping good leaders to make the right decisions on the ground. This makes for lasting change.
We are keen to educate the children of marginalised communities and grow potential leaders into Voices for the oppressed. We have nurtured some from their young years into adulthood and seen this take place.
We embrace grassroots initiatives and welcome advice and suggestion from the ‘bottom up’. Investment in people always means there must be room for the unexpected. Consultation and collaboration is a hallmark of our activities.
We invest in people and initiatives that have growing and enduring impact for the better.