One of the signs of the evolution of the collective consciousness is to be found in the continuing shift from codependent financial rescue to interdependent financial co-creation. This has sometimes been summed up as ‘trade, not aid’.
A recent, and very encouraging, example of this is to be found right here in Australia. The Australian government is reducing their foreign aid but at the same time the Pacific Seasonal Worker Program has been established. This program was established about five years ago to alleviate the chronic shortage of reliable seasonal labour in Australia. Many farmers require this kind of labour for crops that have to be harvested by hand, like asparagus. The problem is that backpackers can be very unreliable and tend to move on after only a short time.
By offering this kind of seasonal work to the Vanuatuans, or Ni-Vans as they call themselves, the farmers get a reliable source of labour, many of whom return year after year so they are also skilled at the work. The farmers also are relieved of any concerns about the possible legality of the workforce and are able to plan their crops ahead, knowing the harvesters will be there. The workers get to be paid a good wage with a strong currency. This is important as in Vanuatu even primary school has to be paid for so being able to get this kind of work enables those who do the labour to pay for their children’s education, and hence this program is also acting to break the poverty cycle.
The scheme now extends to eight countries of the near Pacific, including Timor-Leste. It is a program which is working for all those concerned; the farmers, the workers and those who manage the scheme. This kind of co-creative practice solves problems for everyone, enabling them all to expand their abundance and fulfilment in life. It is these kind of programs which are truly interdependent; they offer true long-term solutions instead of simple band-aids.