Some thoughts on Aid Dependency and the cd3wd Project
The following is a verbatim as-is email I received from a good friend of mine and cd3wd.com collaborator – Travis Hughey – a Hydroponics Expert and Man of God who operates globally but especially in Kenya. He runs the website http://www.fastonline.org which mirrors cd3wd content. The email captures well 2 points in particular – aid dependency among recipients, and also a kind of aid dependency among the donors and the NGOs and church groups. I publish on my blog with the full knowledge and assent of Travis.
Alex Weir, 21 June 2011, Gaborone, Botswana.
I totally hear you. My experience has been so far that funding for anything other than blatent slavery (donor dependency) is of no interest or value for hardly anyone these days who has the opportunity or means to benefit themselves. I see so many these days who say they are pushing for self reliance and a break from donor dependency ultimately only use it for a cover story. The simple truth is most of their rhetoric doesn’t match the reality. Unfortunately the church is no better. Some of the most resistance and outright hostility has come from missionaries who see our methodology as an affront to their way of life. Just imagine what they would have to do if they were not “needed” anymore? Their funding would dry up and they would have to find something else to do. The plain truth is dependency of any kind is a very effective tool for power and control no matter where it is coming from. I know I sound cynical and maybe I am, but that’s sometimes what happens when the blinders come off and one deals directly with people who choose to be impoverished partly because it’s all they have known and are afraid to make it on their own and partly because if one is in the right position in the game there is a lot of money to be made easily collecting photo ops to go raise money with (I personally know of Africans who come over to the states to raise money for projects while living in the lap of luxury and the children in their orphanages are still sleeping in shacks while the buildings they build with donor funds sit empty). I do believe (and have always) that the few forward thinkers are the ones who will ultimately make the difference in their own communities. I really have come to the conclusion that the best thing we can do is make information available to the masses. Some will go to good soil and some will not. Christ said the same thing about the Word of God and it is a universal truth in all things. Please don’t think I am tempted to quit or anything like that. As long as I can earn the resources to share information with others I have a mandate and am happy to do so. The bible says we are to love God with everything and love our neighbor as ones self. Personally I would much rather gain the knowledge and wisdom (better than gold or silver) than always be kept poor so I look to a government or NGO to feed me and my children. I so much admire and respect you for what you have put into the CD3WD project. Whether we directly know it or not I have to believe it is making a difference in ways we will only know when we stand before God and find out just what kind of impact our lives did have. Be encouraged brother and if possible don’t be weary in well doing. Grass roots will ultimately win the day!!