Friday, February 19, 2010

"The poor themselves can create a poverty-free world.. all we have to do is to free them from the chains that we have put around them." -Muhammad Yunus

In the past few weeks we have been learning a lot about africa and the west and how they connect.

I read a comment by an african that said "Thanks for your help Bono, but you could help us better in getting us industry and income generation. We don't need the aid. It's killing us and enslaving us instead of helping us. $610 billion in 30 years didn't work. Why do we need more? It's time for plan B."

Now, I definitely don't think Bono should be the only one blamed because seriously who in the public eye is really giving africa a chance instead of pumping money into them? I have thought several times about the old saying if you give a man a fish vs. if you teach them how to fish...and I've thought about the whole hand up instead of hand out and have been very vocal about how I think we can better africa but I am learning more and more that we just need to LISTEN.

I think we so often forget that most african countries are young. Uganda became independent on October 9th, 1962. It is 48 years young - I think we need to let africa discover things on there own...but I think we need to encourage and inspire - giving opportunities and knowledge...just like our parents and leaders give us.

I so often think about hand outs - now I believe the intentions are good - but how does that help the family? how does that not leave them with dependency and thoughts of "the white people will take care of it". I believe we have allowed a lot of people to abandon their responsibility as a parent and as leaders. we are the outsiders coming in and LEAVING them with dependency and broken ideas. I would like to think of us as all equals..but how is that even possible when we have the ability to come and go as we please throwing around ideas and money and getting more out of it all than the people we intend to help. Oh if only we had Christ's eyes. oh if only we were more aware that people aren't puppets and toys...If only I knew that Africa isn't my playground.

Let's remember that our actions are extremely important, our intentions although good are not always right and let's continue to question charity and also lets continue to pour into people through one on one relationships - not just through pity. Let's give love not guilt money. We have spent 30 years failing africa not helping...something's got to change.

These are just my thoughts and opinions though.
I don't know what's best...I'm just going to try and listen better.


  1. i like your boldness!

    lucie says hi!!! :)

  2. Hey,
    You are wise beyond your years. An alum from the school my kids attend and I work has started a company in Kenya, I thought you might like reading about it:

    Also, another family, the Warrens, have a non-profit called African Leadership that trains African pastors and church leaders and does job-training for Africans. Their website is:

    I thought you might want to get in touch with people God is using the same way He is using you and Joe.

  3. Love this Melissa! Very convicting...keep questioning and keep loving...I will do the same:) You are right...something needs to change...QUICKLY!!

  4. Amen and Amen. This post makes me think a lot about what we are really trying to accomplish when we know God has called us to assist a certain people or region...we have so much to learn.