On my last trip to Uganda, I left money for the sponsorship of a young man as he finishes his schooling.
Living with his Grandma who is a widow, and without a Father to provide for him, I am glad to relieve his worry about funds for school, so that he might simply focus on his studies.
I have seen and understood that the opportunity to spend very little money ensures an education and best advantage going forward for many in developing nations. But I’ve also seen the backside of sponsoring.
While kid needs education, food and clothes, school supplies and maybe a pair of shoes, sponsorship has also crippled the people. And so, though I am personally sponsoring a young man as he finishes his eduction, I am also riddled with mixed emotions as to the long-term effects overall.
I find the tell-tale signs in many of the adults. Those who are used to western money being spent on an entire countries welfare, used to western money being the solution and the way. The only way.
In many ways, the biggest work in Africa that I have encountered, is this tunnel vision that cannot see its way past the need for western money. An idolatry of sorts, the vision of the people has been foreshortened and nearsighted.
“Sponsorship is the only answer” is the mantra of the many.
Yet, this simply isn’t so. As a coach I know that there are always solutions outside of our line of vision. Always.
That just behind the blinders are answers that, until the blinders are removed, we cannot see or imagine.
Do we want the blinders, or the solutions? We can have one or the other, but not both.
I certainly don’t know what the answer is. But I am pretty sure it is time to change the way we are doing things.
The conversations that I have been following from Africa are telling as well. They themselves are seeing that in light of 50 years of western aid and literally billions and billions of dollars, that they, the people and nations are little further ahead than before, “It is time to get our stuff together” they say.
‘How might we assist in building of a sense of sufficiency within a people?’ is most likely the question to be asking. And certainly what we at Capturing Courage International are intent on discovering.