I am writing to you because I own the translation agency http://001yourtranslationservice.com/, I like to dedicate as much of my resources to charity (http://001yourtranslationservice.com/translations-for-charity.html) as I can, and I have recently started an African charity project (http://africa-charity-project.org/).
As a quick background, I believe the best help for Africa is not to throw money at it, as this can cause more harm than good (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4185550.stm ), but to help Africans feed themselves and become self sufficient. My idea, as explained in detail on my website, is to supply villages with solar panels and a laptop and teach them how to join the global internet community to find work. I believe Africa will experience an internet revolution over the next 5 to 10 years and I would like to speed up their benefit from that revolution, especially considering that the continent might be particularly negatively affected by the upcoming global warming crisis.
If you help me with your suggestions I can link out to your translation services webpage to help you find more work for yourself as well.
Following are some questions I’d like to ask you and I would be happy to hear any suggestions you might have: < turn into bullet form..
do you think this is a feasible idea?
I am prepared to go down there myself and help this get off the ground. Do you think it will be safe for me in my Mercedes diesel truck?
do you think there is a danger that the villages might instead sell the solar panels and equipment I give them in order to feed their families?
do you recommend any villages or areas of Africa where I should start?
Do you have any contacts there with which I can email in advance to help set this up?
can you suggest any aid organization which could help me network?
do you have any suggestions how I could promote my concept to thewest, for support?
Thank you and looking forward to any comments or suggestion you might
Thank you for your email showing us your website and work – its lovely to hear that you are doing such great things!
thank you for your lovely and encouraging letter and I will be sure to approach the links you suggested. I’ll respond to your points as I read them below.
You website is really good – I hope you don’t mind that I do have a couple of suggestions or questions that might make it easier for people to help or get involved. Are you asking people to actually physically donate laptops, USB’s etc to you, or do you want them to donate money so that you can buy them? It is not clear from the website, and I think that many more people would donate or help out if it was made very easy for them to do so – I couldn’t find a ‘donate’ section where people can see all the ways they can help. I couldn’t see any contact details which would be useful for you too.
You’re right and I’m surprised I forgot about that.
Concerning the donation thing, I wrote in there that I could accept money and will donate 100% to the cause, and since I have run a translation agency for 15 years and know web programming, I’m sure I could make all sorts of fancy buttons and accept credit card payments etc. That is also a good idea, but for now this is more of a concept I wanted to throw out there and see what happens. If I had enough money I’d be prepared to start it on my own and drive to Kenya with my truck and start there, since I have some charity contacts there. Set up the project myself, fund the panels, find some volunteer interpreters, hit some villages and train the people myself. Use it as a pilot run and then use that as a template or something, and as an example for a sales pitch to snowball the concept, hopefully. For example I read that aid from the west is actually hurting the Africans more. They don’t need or want to be spoon fed but want to become self sufficient. I think this is a great way to help them to do that and that the internet revolution should hit Africa over the next 5 to 10 years. I also once read that food aid from the US is doing a lot of harm. The US in its agricultural subsidy war against Europe is pumping tons of money and driving the price of its own food down. Then they dump second rate and genetically modified stock on Africa, calling it aid but driving many African farmers out of business because they cannot compete against these ridiculously low prices. Many say that the US is doing it on purpose as a sort of price dumping policy to leverage its future agricultural might. Like when the Japanese were dumping their cheap cars on the North American market, causing much problems to car manufacturers, and penetrating the market in this recognizably illegal way.
In any case, for now I’m just looking for feedback on my project and can adjust accordingly.
You say that you think many people would be willing to donate money, but how would I get to those people? My page is ranked high on google for “Africa charity project”, but I can imagine so many people would be looking up those key words. That is why I thought I’d approach a bunch of charity organizations to see about networking somehow. I’m new at all this, so looking for any suggestions.
Okay, thanks for yours and I’ll approach those organizations and see what they say.
Thanks for the happy thumbs up!
Greenpeace now have offices in 3 countries (Senegal, DRC and South Africa) on the African continent. You may want to ask them for some advice, although they are still small and new and extremely busy so they may take a while to get back to you! Here is the website: www.greenpeace.org/afrique/ Greenpeace may not be the most experienced people for you to ask about advice with your project, although we have tracked e-waste before, and installed solar panels on Mama Obama’s roof! (see these pages for more info about this: www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/climate/bringing-solar-power-mama-obama-20090 902 www.greenpeace.org/international/footer/search?q=e-waste) I recommend that you get in touch with the following organizations for further help as they are doing similar projects: Action Aid: www.actionaid.org.uk/ Practical Action: http://practicalaction.org/home WDM: www.wdm.org.uk/ > And there are probably others.
You are very welcome to add a link to Greenpeace on our website – that would be much appreciated, and I will check with the rest of the Webteam to see if we are able to link to your site too. I’m afraid we often have to say no to adding links to our site, even if we love what you are doing, just because there are so many environmental organizations out there that if we linked to all that were relevant our lists would be endless! I’ll let you know though. Thanks again and I wish you loads of luck with your work,