Decolonising Narratives: The Responsibility of Organisations to Contribute

April 11, 2023

As the founder of Legs4Africa, I’ve come to understand that it’s not enough to merely provide assistance to those in need. We must also acknowledge and challenge the often-colonial narratives that underpin global aid. In today’s interconnected world, all organisations have a responsibility to contribute to a more equitable, decolonised narrative.

The colonial mindset that has permeated many aspects of international development work, consciously or unconsciously, continues to influence how aid is administered and perceived. A decolonised narrative doesn’t just dismantle outdated, biased attitudes. It fosters true collaboration and partnership between communities, countries, and organisations.

Here are three key ways we can contribute to decolonising narratives and create lasting, positive change:

  1. Empower Local Communities.
    Decolonising narratives starts by empowering local communities to take charge of their development. At Legs4Africa, we work closely with local grass roots organisations and prosthetic centres, ensuring that the people we serve are at the forefront of decision-making processes. By listening to their voices and learning from their experiences, we can better support their needs and enable them to take ownership of their development.
  2. Foster Mutual Learning and Collaboration.
    Decolonising narratives requires organisations to move beyond a top-down, donor-recipient relationship. We must instead foster a culture of mutual learning and collaboration. At Legs4Africa, we prioritise knowledge-sharing and cross-cultural exchanges, believing that the best solutions come from collective efforts. By engaging in true partnerships, we can challenge the power dynamics that have long-defined global aid and create more equitable relationships.
  3. Challenge Stereotypes and Celebrate Diversity.
    Decolonising narratives involves challenging the stereotypes and biases that have shaped our understanding of the world. It’s essential to celebrate the diversity and resilience of the communities we work with. At Legs4Africa, we strive to share stories that empower and inspire, focusing on the strength and determination of the people we serve. By doing so, we can promote a more accurate and respectful representation of the realities they face.

As organisations, we have a responsibility to contribute to decolonising narratives. This means examining our practices, challenging our assumptions, and embracing a more inclusive and equitable approach to global aid. By empowering local communities, fostering mutual learning, and celebrating diversity, we can create a more just and sustainable world for all.

At Legs4Africa, we hold regular internal discussions on how we can actively contribute to the decolonisation process. We are committed to continuously working towards creating a better, more equitable world for all.

Join us in this journey towards a decolonised narrative, and let’s work together to build a brighter future for everyone.

Author: Tom Williams, Founder of Legs4Africa

About the author

Name: Tom Williams

My passion? Ensuring no prosthetic leg goes unused. I’m dedicated to collecting, refurbishing, and sending these vital pieces of technology to our partners in Africa, where they make a world of difference. When I’m not immersed in this mission at STAND, I’m often found outdoors, embracing nature. I love long walks in any season, camping under the stars, and enjoying the serenity of the great outdoors. My evenings often involve a unique hobby – maintaining and repairing old pinball machines. This blend of precision and nostalgia keeps me engaged and always learning. This fusion of dedication to my work and my love for nature and tinkering drives me every day, both at STAND and beyond.

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