My friend recently shared this status update on Facebook. Her description of the joy of aid work resonated with me as I thought it would with readers of

Kirsten Weeks [in Zambia] “realizes that I am happiest on days like today that start with a 6am departure to the airport, visits to a cotton gin, talks with small holder farmers, focus groups at ART clinics with potential problem solving to address nutrition issues, long car rides through rural villages and solving personal life problems under African skies with good friends and good food and great stars – am thinking I want to move back to Southern Africa sooner than I thought…”

When I asked her if I could share her thoughts on, she wrote,  “Real life is with real people sharing real experiences, in African villages or in American cities and towns, not necessarily in sterile cubicles and offices anywhere in the world."

Where do you find the joy of aid work? Kindly share your thoughts in the comments section.


This post originally appeared at:


Related Posts

Love of the process

Aid Worker: First, Know Thyself

Changing the aid system: 5 more ideas from the inside

What is our true job?

Isn’t it time for a morale boost?

A Question Resonates

Comment on this Post


I totally understand her feeling. having worked in the development sector for 8 years, this is what keep me ticking.When you are out there interacting with the communities or beneficaries, you forget everything.When I head home after a field visit, I feel that I achieved something.

Thanks for sharing this,


Pinky - I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on "The Joy of Aid Work"! My joy comes from helping local organizations and their leaders incorporate reflection and learning into their day-to-day work! - Aid effectiveness is not about what we do, but HOW we do it.