Monday, December 10, 2007

Info for volunteers at Sankofa Mbofra Fie/ Yaya and at third world countries in general

If you choose to volunteer at Sankofa there are some things that you should know. We would advise not to give money. The program depends completely on foreign aid donations mostly which come through volunteers and they will not survive if they do not find away to generate their own revenue. If you do choose to give money then NEVER give direct money. Always pay for services (such as we paid part of the cost to register an NGO to the agent-not the program) or buy goods that you deem appropriate, ex. a large cookpot so cooking can go faster. It would be better to educate that your volunteer work and your presence is worth something and you are not just the dollar amount you bring. Keep persistence in advocating for self sustainability. We gave ideas and suggestions on self sustainability until we were blue, but they often feel on deaf ears. Know that this lesson will be learned sooner or later. Please know that all of your actions will impact all of the volunteers who come after you. Apparently before we came, on the last day of some volunteer's stay at Sankofa, large amounts of alcohol were purchased for the employees of the program, since we were not of the means to do this, it was a problem. I am grateful for the children and the experience of living in a rural village in West Africa, I have seen and done things I would never have the option to do in my life otherwise-though this comes with considerable frustrations. Feel free to email us with questions if you have them

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