ODFL’s model of development sees six areas of life needing to be addressed before growth can occur. It’s like the eight amino acids that have to be present before a protein can form. Those six Rudiments are Nutrition, Health, Education, Sanitation, Water, and Vocation. All have to be present in some minimal fashion, or economic development cannot occur.
The good news is that for most communities, most of those essentials are in place in some basic fashion. If we can complete the circle by adding a final, missing element, then we release a torrent of initiative and energy. Very high returns on economic development can occur by strategically assessing the readiness of any community to release this type of energy.
Consider one of the Rudiments where we do a lot of work.
ODFL got started with Education. Our first project ever was a classroom at the Naro Moru school in Kenya. Since then, we have completed more than 60 projects in the field of education. These include classrooms and related projects in Kenya, South Africa, Malawi, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Nepal.
A classroom releases latent potential in any population. The release is slow because it takes time for its effect to work its way into the society. But it is profound, and enduring. It extends through generations because better educated people ensure that their own children are still better educated than themselves. Consider.
We are building classrooms, computer labs, science labs, libraries, and other facilities for as little as $1,500. These raise the educational trajectories of thousands of student like nothing else in the world ever could. They release the native human energy for growth and self-development. They represent one of the highest returns on economic development of any project in the world.