Thursday, June 23, 2005

we're not an NGO

I received the letter below. This gives me a good opportunity to write a bit about the difference between humanist action and humanitarian help. The below is a request for humanitarian help. The Humanist Movement does not see humanitarian help as leading to any long-term benefits. Over $1 trillion has been spent on humanitarian help over the last 50 years and many countries are worse off than ever.

Humanist action, on the other hand, is about people coming together to lift themselves and their communities up, through their own human effort, connected to others all over the world doing the same. This is about true human dignity, not dependence. Please ask questions if you like.
From: beh shadrach
To: tedernst
Date: Jun 23, 2005 4:42 AM
Subject: sponsor for school

Dear Sir,
I wish to appeal to you,to kindly assist me sponsor my school that i have established in Ghana buduburam refugee settlement.This school was established to aid Liberian brothers and sisters that can not afford paying huge sum of money to schools.The school is focus on children that are deserted,low income parents and orphan children in the Liberian refugee settlement. Sir,to be realistic some children are presently in the school that come in the school hungry,some come dirty in school and some lack of wearing because their parents /guardian can not afford the money to sustain their children.Therefore,it get it difficult to these children out of school because of the conditions their parents/guardians are under going presently sending their children to school. Constraint of parents/guardians,liberian refugeeresiding in Ghana are not opportune to farming or giving to land to have a garden that can help to support the entire family.Sir,with all that i have said are real and can be proving to give you the clear picture of some Liberian living conditions in the refugee settlement, which can not permit them to cater to their own children education.Again sir,your help to the school will draw a picture to parents/guardians that you are the God who came to seek and save the lost,more over God will surely bless you for seeking the interest of poor liberian children in Ghana.Sir, there is a place giving to me that need to be repaired for additional classrooms and to create a good vertilated class(es).The roofing of the house,laying of the floor and the payment of the workers,to have better education for my own liberian children.I again appeal deeply to you for help.may God reachly bless you and the entire families.
Lawrence T.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is such a worthwhile project but Ted's approach is all most can do and it really is the core of the self-sufficiency that your nation requires in the future. There are some within the camp who would like to mentor children on an individual basis to help Liberians to go back to the homeland and move the nation forward. Obviously every day lost for a child is a setback to Liberian. I do not have the money to fund such a project but I am sending subsistance money to one individual which is all I can afford. He can then be healthy and have the time to do something of this sort. PLEASE do not abandon your education program for want of a building and furnishings. The most important school subject is READING because if a person can read he/she can learn anything else!! You can start a child reading drawing in the dust if that is what you have in the beginning. But I have heard there are some stores where there are paper and pencils and that is a beginning. Do not ever abandon this goal because it is worthy and necessary. Buy many families here in America homeschool their children - the lessons are taught in the home by the parents. Our homeschooled children can be as well educated as any graduating from beautiful schools. And the beautiful well-appointed schools in America frequently graduate people who cannot read beyond the 4th grade so it is not money that makes a good education. You CAN start this without a building. FIRST you need the students.

2:13 PM  
Blogger idi0singularity said...

I stumbled across your blog and fully agree with your opinions on humanist action. I recently came back from Ghana myself, and did make a pitstop in the camp, but it did bother me how all the money that is supposedly being donated to Africa is nowhere to be seen. Thanks for your insight. Good luck.

4:05 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Thanks for the comment. It's been about 18 months since I've been in the camp. Things sort of fell apart after I did some fundraising of my own. Ugh!

7:12 AM  

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