How Do We Know?
Lets talk perceptions. We were recently in an enlightening meeting with some very cool and affluent Guatemalans. The subject turned to the mistrust of the poor by the wealthy. Interestingly, one of the greatest concerns was over corruption and how it affects giving money. Additionally, these good folks were worried about creating a culture of dependency. Without knowing the people intimately and how they will use the money, many here, like in the U.S., decide against giving. All too often we are warned that hand-outs are not the solution to fixing poverty – in essence people here and abroad fear that this type of giving simply replaces one form of bondage with another. Ugh. How do we know what is best? The solution?
Time for the shameless plug: The solution is First Things Foundation. No really, how does one avoid granting money to the wrong people? How does one avoid creating that culture of dependency? One clear answer is that you live with the poor, become friends with them, and share in their lives, their suffering and their joy. You see, we are building trust and gaining confidence about the people we work with. We spend so much time in the field, all of our time in fact, that we can vouch personally for many, many of our impresarios and their projects. And along the way our donors are reminded of who the key players are, the real change-makers. And this reassurance is more than a way to satisfy the conscience; it is the path to true development, both in terms of poverty, but also in terms of our own souls, right here, in the boondocks, in the ghetto. I guess you can say that we come to know our neighbors as people in need, sure. But how are we any different?
Stop upside-down development by supporting right-side up causes like First Things Foundation.