You Can’t Befriend Somalia without Training

You Can’t Befriend Somalia without Training

Matthew Wrote:
Jim i want to begin providing aid in somalia, would you recomend Garissa a good
place to live and creat a relationship with somalians?

Matthew –

In your straight-forward email, I sense a dogged commitment and very high moral belief in what you’ve decided to do, so far be it from me to dissuade you. But that’s what I’ve been doing most of my life in Africa.

I have a forty-year view. Individual charity or “missions” are almost always bad. But there are thousands, probably tens of thousands of people exactly like yourself who are successfully helping Africa. They do it with proper training, first, and then by joining some of the outstanding organizations like the Red Cross or Medecins sans frontieres for health issues, or by joining NGOs like USAid or UN agencies. Those groups of people do Africa enormous, untold good.

Good individuals like yourself often help African individuals, but it’s like biofuels here where I live near Iowa. We spend more energy and other resources to make biofuels then we get out of them. Most individual charity work expends more money, human resources, intellectual effort than it produces good. Especially someone as clear-minded as yourself. You belong in the foreign service, not on an individual mission. You probably don’t even know the extent of your own talents, but a good organization will determine that and will maximize your individual effort.

Go back to my blog and navigate to “charity” on the right-hand panel and then read the thumbnails of a dozen blogs I’ve written that explain this more fully.

I’m not telling you not to go. I’m telling you to make a short turn first, to a good organization.

Jim Heck