What attracted me to the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) was the multi-faceted nature of the work. We not only work in so many countries but also in so many different thematic areas. In my three years at PADF, we’ve definitely grown existing thematic areas and even gotten into new ones! Within the Peace, Justice, and Security thematic area alone, you see the impacts at the community level and within institutions. PADF
programming leaves a lasting mark and tools that live on beyond project dates.
For me personally, the end of the Resistance and Prevention Program (RAPP) was moving as I was able to meet youth and community leaders and see first–hand the impact of the community action plans that PADF provided funding for. The stories of hope that emerged from neighborhoods that had heartbreaking crimes showed me that our work had a lasting impact on the community. What also moved me was how the crime prevention committees kept on meeting long after the project was done, which proved we had introduced a sustainable tool so the community could offer alternatives to those vulnerable to engaging in crimes.
I think the greatest challenge is planning for the unknown. You write a proposal, introduce a concept, get it approved, and by the time you begin implementation, many things have changed. Being adaptable, however, happens more quickly than we realize. Human beings are adaptable, we see it with how we respond to different events, like a natural disaster or in our current reality, a pandemic unseen in 100 years. I think being adaptable to unforeseen circumstances is the greatest challenge but also offers a unique opportunity to grow and reshape things in a positive direction. How PADF has been able to adapt this past year shows that!