Coffee shop helps in a job 'Well Done'
Original post made on Jul 17, 2009
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 17, 2009, 11:43 AM
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.
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...
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.