Graduate to showcase photos, give talk on the 'organized poor'

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Oct 21, 2010

Photo #1-NC-Sprague1
Photo #1-NC-Sprague1

An exhibit of 20 striking photographs from the Inter-American Foundation based in Virginia—spotlighting the “organized poor” in Latin America and the Caribbean—will be exhibited at Sinclair Library’s Heritage Room at UH Mānoa from October 20 to November 12. The photos will accompany a presentation by IAF Director of Publications and Fellowships Paula Durbin, a graduate of UH Mānoa and the William S. Richardson School of Law.
Durbin’s PowerPoint presentation and public lecture will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 4, with a reception to follow at 6:00 p.m. Durbin will explain the IAF’s grassroots approach to self-help development in Latin America and the Caribbean. She will give a similar talk at the UH Hilo campus on Wednesday, November 3, where another 20 photographs will be on display.
The IAF exhibit and Durbin’s presentation at Mānoa campus are co-sponsored by the Office of International and Exchange Programs, Spanish and Latin American & Iberian Studies in the Department of Languages and Literatures of Europe and the Americas, and Sinclair Library.
The IAF was created by Congress in 1969 to channel development assistance directly to the “organized poor” in Latin America and the Caribbean. The notion was considered radical at the time, if not an impossibility.  Today, IAF’s straightforward investment in grassroots efforts has been recommended as the most effective way to reduce poverty.
“The IAF has tremendous confidence in people at the grassroots and believes they know best how to confront their challenges and take advantage of opportunities,” Durbin said. “The investment in this kind of self-help, requiring the groups to take the initiative and put their own resources at risk, happens without costly experts, layers of bureaucracy or wasteful top-down programs.”
For more information on the exhibit or Durbin’s lecture, contact Rosemary Casey at the Office of International and Exchange Programs at (808) 956-3101 or For more on IAF, see the organization’s website at
Photo caption:
Photo #1-NC-Sprague1: Photo by Sean Sprague, 2004: Consorcio para el Desarrollo Sostenible de Ticuantepe (CODESOS) Nicaragua. CODESOS-trained Francisco Garcia and other farmers build terraces and apply other conservation techniques to protect the soil in the buffer zone of the Biological Corridor of the Managua Hills.