Concrete ideas are hard to move forward
When was the last time that your dinner party conversation swerved into a discussion of worldwide concrete production? Probably never…
Human rights, world hunger, a health crisis, disasters and poverty join about 30-thousand other topics before we would discuss concrete construction over a dinner. Concrete is not a big conversation starter…
Discussions concerning poverty are however very common. Charitable organizations move these conversations forward using memorable imagery. Pictures of bruised children, emaciated mothers, and thin men on cots are all used to give us a vision of the problems facing the poor in our world.
These conversations pull at our hearts and encourage our minds to participate in some sort of action. We view a problem and then we seek ways to solve it using our time, our money or with other resources. These real actions are what make being involved with international development and charity such a valuable effort for all of humanity. But in the development world, concrete only gets walked on and ignored, why?
Concrete is not sexy… It is made from rocks, sand, water and processed limestone. It is hard, gray and boring when compared with the face of a desperate little child. Concrete doesn’t grab the imagination and create a call to action, it is just too plain-Jane.
The before and after image of Nicaraguan girl who can’t get dental care will hit a soft spot in the hearts of dentists, doctors and donors. A dental conversation translates easily into a call to action, because it is attached to a human issue, not to a boring slab created by cement powder.
However, we do not get discouraged with the lack of discussion on this issue. We understand that someone must be a bit of a concrete geek to really want to talk about cement powder over dinner. In fact our lives revolve around concrete and we have been presented with an image that gives us inspiration to help the poor.
It is a faceless, nameless human hand. Lifeless and dusty fingers hanging from a crushing pile of what was once a trusted home. It is a sad signal to the development community that concrete must join the conversation.
Billions of grains of sand and stone have combined to create images just like this one after every disaster. It is hands like this that have desperately attempted to create suitable living structures without a functioning concrete supply system. In the end they are crushed under the work of their own hands, the result of poor quality materials and improper application. This hand reaches out to us for help… It represents our vision to cure the world’s poorest concrete.
We are a group of “concrete geeks” here at CementTrust. We are not dentists or agriculturalists or health professionals. But we are inspired to talk about concrete from the image of a single hand, draped in rubble, and pointing to a problem that we can help to fix.
We reach out to the international development community to come to the table and start talking about concrete…