Practice report : when life gives you apricots

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Stansfield, John
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Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
International Association for Community Development (IACD)
community development
wild Himalayan apricot (Prunus armeniaca)
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Stansfield, J. (2016). Practice report : when life gives you apricots. Whanake: the Pacific Journal of Community Development, 2(2), 30-32. Unitec ePress. ISSN 2423-009X. Retrieved from:
The International Association for Community Development (IACD) practice exchange in India this March gave me a whole new take on the saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, and a good lesson in the ways of an enterprising community to boot! Twenty of us traveled by train and minibus from Delhi as part of a two week traveling community development (CD) learning community. We were hosted by the Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation (Grassroots) – the lifework of visionary IACD vice president Anita Paul and her ever smiling husband Kalyan. [...] For sheer enterprise in the face of adversity, however, I was most impressed and encouraged by the story of the humble Wild Himalayan Apricot and what a little ingenuity helped it achieve. The late Oona Sharma, visionary co-founder of non-profit organisation Aarohi, will be smiling somewhere in the vast Himalayan sky, looking down on the enterprising and resourceful followers who have carried on her brilliant community development work amongst mountain communities. Life in the mountains is hard. The inspiring and stunning scenery belies an existence of harsh conditions and frugal subsistence. The mountain villagers in Satoli, Uttarakhand, rely on a coarse apricots as a cash crop from which they make jam. When a freak hail storm knocked every single green apricot from the trees despair, although understandable, was simply not an option.
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