Town Square

Post a New Topic

Coffee shop helps in a job 'Well Done'

Original post made on Jul 17, 2009

After Josh To saw the desperate need for clean drinking water among Ghana's rural villagers, he launched a project dedicated to digging new wells there. Downtown's Red Rock has served as a staging area in the project.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 17, 2009, 11:43 AM

Comments (7)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bernie Brightman
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 17, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Be wary of these Christian-based aid organizations in Africa. As documented in the book Dark Star Safari, many of them provide their help only to those willing to espouse (or at least pretend to espouse) whatever beliefs the organization insists on. Moreover a lot of money ends up being spent on the comfort of the aid providers themselves. I don't know what the case is here, but it appears that a lot of these organizations are more concerned with proselytizing than they are with truly providing aid.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jim
a resident of another community
on Jul 17, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Bernie, we appreciate your input and respect your opinion on the matter. I'm actually one of the individuals who started Well Done with Josh To, and can attest that our partner organization, Pioneers-Africa, is certainly not the type of organization that you mention. In fact, several of the projects that have been implemented thus far are located in predominately Muslim communities, with absolutely no contingent requirement made for individuals to altar beliefs or cultural traditions in order for the well to be drilled (that would be a tragedy in our eyes). And rest assured, not a cent of project funds went to the "comfort of the aid providers," neither to our partners at Pioneers-Africa (you'd only need spend 5 minutes with these individuals and witness the living conditions they endure to be convinced of this) nor to ourselves (we work on an entirely volunteer basis and cover our own AND Pioneer's administrative costs completely out of pocket, such that 100% of donor funds can go directly towards the projects).

In contrast, our partnership with Pioneers-Africa on project Well Done has actually worked out wonderfully for us, not so much because they are a Christian organization, but rather that they are a local organization, indigenous to the specific locale in which our projects are being implemented. While Well Done is not a religiously affiliated organization, we recognize it is commonly (and sometimes only) such organizations that are intimately working in the most remote, deprived regions of the developing world and maintain the relationships with the village leaders, organizations, and governmental agencies involved that are critical in seeing such an undertaking through. Some may choose to bemoan and criticize this fact; we've chosen to embrace and make the most of it. Our partners at Pioneers-Africa are individuals who sleep, eat, work, and live alongside the communities of concern and dedicate their entire lives to their wellbeing, not only in the form of preaching a belief, but just as fervently by establishing medical clinics, building schools, and advocating for community rights before the government regardless of acceptance of a belief or creed. We embrace partnerships with such organizations, so long as it means most effectively and sustainably bringing clean water to the people who need it most.

Hopefully this better explains where we're coming from and helps allay some of your fears regarding our specific effort...

-Jim


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Thomas
a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Thank you for highlighting the humanitarian work being done through RedRock Cafe in your community. I am also glad a healthy discussion ensued in your comments section as a result. It is always easy to use broad brush strokes in criticizing legitimate humanitarian work done in underprivileged nations. When people serve selflessly, often those who are the beneficiaries of such work might inquire about motivations, and if genuine motivations are expressed, that is not "proselytizing". Christian work done in several countries has brought genuine relief and help. In India for instance there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of school, colleges, and hospitals set up over many decades that have contributed greatly to nation. It may not even be a stretch to say India would not be where it is today had it not been for Christian work. There are hundreds of instances of such humanitarian work all over the world. Father Damien went to Molokai to treat lepers and himself died of leprosy at the age of 49. David Livingstone the famed explorer and medical missionary led the way for significant humanitarian work being done in Africa. Eric Liddell, the Olympic gold medalist and subject of the movie 'Chariots of Fire' later went to China as a missionary rather than reap the benefits of fame and fortune - and there are hundreds of others.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ellen
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 19, 2009 at 6:31 am

I love RedRock and go there frequently. I was glad to read up more on this campaign and how RedRock is using their business for a good cause.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 20, 2009 at 9:58 pm

I served as a Peace Corps teacher in West Africa several decades ago and also managed to travel through Ghana. Potable water supplies are a concern throughout the developing world. Any program such as this is important and can make a valuable contribution to life and health in these areas (I boiled my water on US supplied kerosine stove). Thanks to the Voice for publishing this story of our local positive connections to the less fortunate parts of the world.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of another community
on Jul 21, 2009 at 4:09 pm

From Jim: "...not only in the form of preaching a belief..." and from the Pioneers-Africa website: "Who we are:
Pioneers-Africa is an autonomous and indigenous, African Missions agency committed to evangelizing the unreached people groups in Africa and beyond." says it all. I'm not against missions to third world countries, I just prefer the giving coming from one's self and one's own belief; not with the intent of pushing one's faith onto someone else. If through your example, locals asks you where your strength and faith in humanity comes from, by all means share your belief with them. I just have a problem with carrots being dangled in front of the starving with the pay-off being "salvation". Lead by example and good things will come of it, whether it results in conversion or not.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Martha
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jul 24, 2009 at 8:09 pm

More micro-projects like this -- tangible and practical relief work -- need to be done. Well done, Well Done!


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Grab a Bowl of Heaven soon in Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 2,572 views

Quick Check List for UC Applications
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 0 comments | 1,786 views

Don't fund the rape culture at my alma mater
By Jessica T | 19 comments | 1,404 views

Palo Alto and Bay Area Election Facts and Thoughts on the Implications
By Steve Levy | 15 comments | 1,286 views

Fancy Fast and Fun!
By Laura Stec | 3 comments | 1,087 views