International cooperation journal (I)

Nietzsche said that the one who has a why will be able to find a how. After years working in multinationals I have realized that I want to put at the service of the most vulnerable my knowledge, my abilities but, above all, my vision of a more equal world, where every child can enjoy their childhood.

Nacho Puig Aubeyzon – Co-founder of the NGO Bahadur Social Project


Helping, contrary to what people commonly think, is not easy, none of that. Cooperating requires, more than ever, research, planning, hard work, involvement and follow-up. Because other jobs only commit us to ourselves, but cooperating has repercussions that go beyond. Therefore, if we want to reduce the impact of our mistakes and amplify our successes, we must be more cautious than ever when offering that help that, from the outside, seems so unquestionable and easy to provide.

In our first entry of the section, I will talk about the internal construction of a cooperant. A space where I will share the learning acquired throughout the life cycle of this project. As well as the experiences and vicissitudes that anyone can find in a project like this.

A noble motive

Before attacking the term cooperation, I would like to make a distinction about the different approaches to the term “helping.” Why do we help? What is helping? How do we help? These are basic questions that everyone should ask themselves before entering this field.

And why do I say this? Because the concept of helping must have a noble motive and not to heal a void or wound. It is important to be clear about this concept, because it will mark the focus and direction of our plans, as well as the persistence of our attempts. Because no, in this field it is difficult to achieve results at the first time, so there must be a superior motive to help.

And when I mean that the motive to help must be noble, I do not mean that we should have a PhD at Harvard, or that only a few can be part of this select group. Nothing further! But we must be aware that helping will require a certain effort and commitment, towards ourselves and with the cause, whatever it may be.

One of the most important concepts when cooperating, from my point of view, is the means we use. That is, what is the engine that directs our actions. Because, contrary to what we may think, and we have all fallen into that trap at some point, not only do we need heart – which is something we take for granted – but it is essential to use our head as well. Reasoning about the impact and implication of our actions.

Paradoxically, in the world of humanitarian aid, in most cases it is more important to act with the head than with the heart. That is, learning to mark a red line, because, if not, we run the risk of solving a problem in the present, but causing another, much greater, in the future.

Do not impose, but propose

When it comes to cooperating, we must also be humble to know that we do not have a universal solution in our hands, and if we do have it, the last thing we must do is force anyone to abide by it. Because, as evident as it may sometimes seem, one of the essential norms consists in not imposing but proposing, and accompanying those individuals to, together, work on taking that small step that will have a relevant impact.

Similarly, another question we must ask ourselves before lifting a single finger is, can I really offer an improvement? Is my help really necessary?

This brings us to a cultural factor, because first of all, I must understand the way of thinking or the motives that drive others to act as they do. The fact that things are done differently in my country does not mean that it is better, or that it can be applied in another area. The reality may be different, and therefore our plans do not adjust to the true needs or wishes of others.