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These pages comprise of correspondence with those who have provided suggestions and valuable insight for our Africa Charity Project. Uploaded on Dec. 2, 2009. Other Africa Charity Project correspondence pages.



Good to hear from you.

Your idea of providing villages with solar panels is okay, but not with laptops. We don't need laptops.

If you would like to help Africa feed itself, then we can work on things like access to farming water (wells, dykes, dams, irrigation kits), equipping farmers with farming tools, providing access to the agricultural know-how, access to microcredits, fertilizers, pest control techniques...make a green revolution.

We can work on improving education by building schools in villages, by educating adults (literacy and numeracy), by teaching people enterpreneurship skills.

There are many ways in which you can work in Africa if you really mean it. Don't think someone will steal your diesel truck or your installation panels. There are many such things here in Africa. Our problem is not at this level. Our problem relies in business skills and knowledge, and how to sustain activities.

I am not seeking for job as such, however, if you are really serious about it, I can help you make your dreams come true.




Food Security Program

Coordinator & Grants Manager

Peace Corps Mali


I do not have the skills to help with farming and I believe many organisations are already heavily involved in that. I am good at computers and I feed myself with such work, if you read my website. I wanted to teach others to do the same. I work solely through the internet, working from solar panels, as my site explains. I thought this could be good for remote African villages. Any help or suggestions you have would be appreciated.


I just surfed on your web, and I totally agree with you. This project can definitely help people somehow out of poverty. I will fill out your questionnaire and add my comments, recommendations and suggestions.


What is your country of residence? I mean, where are you from? And where are you actually residing? Please find below some quick answers to your questions.


Your Questionnaire:

Q: do you think this is a feasible idea?

A: The idea is feasible and will be more than welcome in Africa

Q: 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?

A: It depends on where in Africa. I live in West Africa, and this is the zone I know the most. In West Africa, particularly in Mali (my homeland), there is NO THREAT at all for foreign investors. If you prefer, you can even drive your own car everywhere within the geographic borders of the area I will advise you, unless the language barrier impeaches you.


Q: 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?


A: NO. Donít worry about that. Usually, villagers do not steal public properties. The only concern you could have at this level is maintaining installations. Our people are very poor in maintenance skills. Even if properly trained, they would always want to be paid some money in order to mind taking good care of things. Even the water installations setup by private enterprises to benefit the whole villages, are often left forgotten in case they breakdown. Our people are not management motivated. Thatís why for many things, we need to train them a lot, and help them develop a business plan to follow.

Q: 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?


A: I will advise you to start in MaliWest Africa (a French Speaking Country). I say this because in this way, I can give you more support as I know people. Once you decide to come, I will take attach with local organizations that can help out implement the activities. French Speaking countries do value protocol. So, if you decide to implement your project here, we have to start talks with political and administrative authorities, so they truly understand what we plan to do. We have to have their adhesion to our cause before actually going out to villages. Once these links are tied up, then we can start working with villagers. So, just let me know if you make your decision.

Q: can you suggest any aid organization which could help me network?

A: See Answer above. Many local and international organizations work here. Once I have your mission statement, I will find out who can board with us.

Q: do you have any suggestions how I could promote my concept to the
west, for support?

A: You can partner with foreign charity organizations in America and in Europe. An organization like yours can be an ideal partner with US-Peace Corps (where I work), or USAID or the Commission of the European Union. From Mali, it is possible to connect with them.

My suggestion is to send me detailed description of your project, how it will work, its goals and objectives. If you have a project design paper, I can translate and use that to lobby the political and administrative leaders, in order to find the necessary paperwork allowing your organization to work here in Mali.

Looking forward to hearing back from you.


thank you for your thorough response, I have logged it and will get back to you once I organise myself better. Right now it seems that I am leaning towards Syria, Egypt and onwards to Kenya, because I am in Bulgaria at the moment and have already driven across Turkey once. Once I set up a base in these countries will plan to spread from there to the rest of Africa, so I'd like to keep in touch. Have already found some sponsors in Europe so perhaps I will be able to branch out to you sooner than later. Will be contact.


thank you for your detailed response. I think I will be starting in the northeast, because that is closest to where I am now, and spread out to the rest of Africa from there, but I already found some sponsors so perhaps I could get to you sooner than later. I will keep in touch with your as I slowly organise this.

Concerning the job thing, I am sure that Africans would be charging less than Germans, and hence they have the opportunity to find work through the internet, like I have been doing for the past 15 years. This is why I want to bring the internet to grass root Africans so that they can take part in the internet revolution which has benefited the Indians and Chinese.




Your idea is great and surely is feasible. Sure some governmental institutions would also help support/finance that. One always have danger in life!!! I can drive with a Mercedes through America and have problems. Roads in South Africa are not as bad as in the rest of Africa - so for the rest of Africa a four by four truck would be better. However, trucks are very popular and most of the population is poor - so changes are 50-50 that you're truck could be "taken over" by someone else!!! Who would then use it for work or resell it! Sorry to say, but yes, Africa, unfortunately is pretty corrupt. I would not say that all villages would sell the solar cells, etc. but there most certainly would be two or three - and if word would get round, more would do it. Best is to get the local governments of the different states on your side and let them or another organisation support you. And, to educate the people so that they learn that with the equipment they could work which would then finance their food!

On the long run, I do think it would work, once the people realise that they are being helped to help themselves. And, especially, once they see that they can earn a living. The work situation in Germany/Europe also is not so good, high qualifications are needed and different languages. (For people out of Africa). Just like anywhere else, one likes to protect ones own: if a European could do the job, then he/she gets it. But I believe if you don't try something, you will never get anywhere! I would at first contact the departments of Home Affairs of the different countries and be fore I would travel with a truck full of equipment, I would go for a couple of meetings and discussions, also trying to find some more sources to finance the project: i.e. "Help for Africa, etc etc. Some governmental departments - in this case, the Economic and Trade departments, church organisations, can maybe also assist for financiers. And, what about schools - starting at the basis of education is laying the foundation for future engineers, translators, etc etc. I would first start networking at the Embassies/Consulate-Generals of the various countries : find out where is the closest Economic and Trade department of South -Africa near you, they might have a list of organisations: Africa Foundation etc. As I said, the idea really is feasible and I think that there are already some institutions working on this, but there would be room for someone else to help. I will put some more thought in this, and will see how else I can help you. A country which I see really has a positive approach in relation to development and where I would start - working from South Africa, is Mozambique.






Thank you for contacting me, I really appreciate. Thank you too for the project and the vision you have for Africa, be blessed. I am glad to inform you that I am willing to assist you in any way that you may require my assistance. To answer your queries, Africans are generally very hospitable people (except war tone areas), so you will be very safe travelling in your Mercedes truck, you will also be informed about the areas to be cautious (especially the slums areas in big cities) however the country sides are peaceful. Itís true that some of the people will sell the equipment (especially the computers) because they fetch good money, some will remain with the solar panel because they might convert them to electricity during the night. This is something worry for the people aged 30+, but the teenagers and the youths might keep them because they would love to learn, the best people to distribute the computers to are people in schools (high schools, colleges and universities) as they do study computers in school. For me I can talk about Kenya, where I live, so I will have to think of the best places that I know the computers will be highly beneficial. There is a ministry that I know of that goes to the grassroots and remote places in Kenya that I think might be able to help, itís a Christian ministry, you can check the ministries' website on

In case you have any further query please do not hesitate to contact me.


Many thanks and regards,


Swahili Translations


thank you for your response. Based on my feedback so far I think I'm leaning to just drive there and set up bases between Egypt and Kenya, maybe also in Syria. So it would be good to have you as a contact in Kenya. Lets keep in touch and see how it goes. I will try to find some sponsors and fill up my truck a bit before I depart. If I could accomplish this within about a year it would be great and I look forward to an adventurous drive.




Your websites and other links provided make for some very interesting reading! I must commend you on your noble objectives. It seems like you will be having fun at the same time. By no means do I consider myself an expert on Africa, but perhaps I can give you some detail into my background, and then answer a few of your questions.


My wife and I currently serve in Bloemfontein, in the Republic of South Africa (please forgive any repetitions of information you may have read elsewhere). We are volunteer religious instructors. I also do freelance work (translation and proofreading), and my wife has a small pool-cleaning business, in order to support ourselves. As Jehovah's Witnesses, we believe that no human agency or government can provide solutions for this world's, or even Africa's problems. In fact, if one were to investigate the Bible, one would find that God has promised a Kingdom, in the hands of his Son, Jesus Christ, that will destroy all human governments and establish a righteous rule over the earth. You can find more information on this, and many other Biblical topics, at


Now, as far as your questions are concerned:


1. "Do you think this is a feasible idea?"

It seems that you have done extensive research, and planned rather well, so it does seem feasible. However, I must caution you regarding the difficulty of crossing borders, and other red tape issues. There is also the possibility of encountering bribery and corruption.


2. "Do you think it will be safe for me in my Mercedes diesel truck?"

I have looked at your van online, and if you implement all the precautions you suggest, you shouldn't have too many problems. I would suggest, however, that you don't publicise all your security features :) It would also be good to liase with people on the ground, so to speak, about specific conditions in the locations you will be visiting. For instance, Bloemfontein is relatively quiet with respect to vehicle theft and break-ins, whereas Hillbrow, in Johannesburg, is a lot riskier.


3. "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?"

I don't feel qualified to answer this question, as situations and circumstances will likely vary from location to location. However, if this is a cause for concern, perhaps sufficient education beforehand would help?


4. "Do you recommend any villages or areas of Africa where I should start?"

Once again, a question I don't feel qualified to answer. If you are coming to Africa, I imagine you would arrive in either Johannesburg (by air), or Durban or Cape Town (by sea). These are good centres from which to start, I would imagine.


5. "Do you have any contacts there with which I can email in advance to help set this up?"

Unfortunately, I don't have these kind of contacts, nor do I move in these type of circles.


6. "Can you suggest any aid organization which could help me network?"

As a politically neutral religious worker, I don't have any affiliation with aid agencies or other agencies, whether they are related to government, or NGOs. I'm sorry that I can't be of more of assistance.


7. "Do you have any suggestions how I could promote my concept to the west, for support?"

Again, I regret that I don't have an answer for you on this one.


I hope that I could at least answer some of your questions, and when

you do come over, I hope that we can meet you and have a chat about

your efforts!


Yours sincerely,



thank you for your response. One of the reasons I am doing this is because I am trying to do something for God, as he has done so much for me. When distributing laptops to educate people, my plan is to include the bible and help propogate that concept. My own website is So far my dream is to drive to Africa and perhaps start in the countries between Egypt and Ethiopia, and start as a base there. Everything is still in it very early stages, and as you suggested, I am trying to develop a network of contacts from the ground up.

Thank you for your input and good luck with your endeavours as well.




Which country in Africa are you planning to visit because in some of them the Internet is now everywhere. I suggest you research one particular area and you get in contact with Aid organisations working there and you take it from there.

There is not just one configuration in all African countries.

If you really want to help 'them' -whoever that is - you need to know a lot more.




I'm Liku and I'm an Ethiopian. I would like to thank you on behalf of my fellow Africans for what you're planning to do.

As I said being an Ethiopian I'm going to answer your questions with respect to Ethiopia. First, please check these links out:



1. Feasible? Definitely. No questions asked.


2. Safety? Again definitely. Ethiopia is one of the safest countries in the world. Yes, I know the recent media coverage about the war in Somalia didn't exactly help, but thank God that's over now. Addis Ababa is one of the very few cities in Africa where you can walk out alone after dark. Security is very tight because of the diplomatic presence in Addis Ababa. Second, Ethiopians are a very humble and hospitable people and we would never take advantage of a foreigner. I'm not saying we don't have pick-pockets and petty thieves - the lot, but they are the sly types who try to trick you rather than use force or weapons. It's illegal to carry any kind of weapon here.

As for your truck, I'm not that into mechanics and/or cars but if you're thinking of staying for a short time why not just rent a land cruiser? Or any smaller 4 wheel drive? Just a suggestion.


3. Please, get that image of us Ethiopians hungry and willing to sell anything that isn't nailed to the ground. I don't know how the study will be done, but maybe you should make a plan on what kind of people are trustworthy and reliable or not. Maybe you should give it to families who are chosen by the society as being upstanding. Or maybe it can be centralized and the whole village can assign a guard/repair-man to take care of it.


4. For contacts, let me see what I can do. I'd recommend emailing the larger NGO's already here. This would be a good start: as for promotion I being a tech-guy could only recommend a website. But then there would need to be a marketing campaign. But I don't think that's impossible right now. It can be done anytime once the project takes off.


Again, thank you for the noble idea. I'll try to help as much as I can.




Financial Systems Support

Ethiopian Airlines, Headquarters, Bole International Airport


thank you for your response and I will check out your links, and look forward to any other input you may have.

Concerning my truck, as stated in my website, I've been living in it for the past three years, with solar panels on the roof, which gave me this idea in the first place. I would prefer to take it with me, as it is my beloved home. But I guess it would be dangerous to drive through Sudan etc.? Perhaps shipping it from Alexandria would be better?

Ethiopia sounds like a good place where I might try to start this project. Is there any internet through mobile phone? I need regular internet connection for my business.




I would like to thank you at first for sending me this email with all the information about your website and project.

It is so lovely from you to think about other needy people in charity projects.You have definately moved all your positive energy in the right track.

I think there is a misunderstanding that I am originally from Africa! I am an Arab from the Middle East, Jerusalem city. I am sure you have heard of that place in the Middle East.

Although I am from the Middle East, but that wouldn't prevent me from replying to your email with some suggestions or help.


The idea of your project seems great. But... your place of the project is sooooooo wide!!!! Africa is a huge continent and has a great number of villages!

It is either you have to decrease your place of project or increase your charity giving!

One laptop for a village will be too little... it would be a waste giveaway. Because in my opinion the Laptop won't stay for a week in it's original shape!


Maybe.. if the laptop was sent to the biggest school in the village (if there are schools) with a projector, so that a teacher (if knowing about computer systems) can teach the students about internet and computer systems, that would be much better.

Because a projector can be a way of teaching all students at class at the same time, without being the laptop exposed to all the students fighting for using it at the same moment. Things would be much more organized, educational and safe (for the charity giveaway and for the fighting students )!!

UNRWA schools maybe a good idea, you can thing about that.


Africa is a big continent Mr./Ms. Kosman, you have to study each village before going there alone. Also you have to know if this village has basic education first, prior to going there and giving a laptop! because it would be like throwing it away! Some people in the villages travel from village to village to get the basic education from the other village or from the city, so not every village has the basic education.


In Palestine, where i live, projects like that have been made, but with bigger budgets. An internet cafe' for every city or village with computers, educational games books and places to do homework for the students. This was done by SHAREK Youth Institute. If you want more information about that i can try to provide you with.


Maybe you have been disappointed that i am not an African that can help you more! But if you like i can work with you in translation, editing or information collection as a job if thats beneficial!


Thanks and waiting for your reply!



yes, I would be interested in learning more about SHAREK and any other suggestion you have.

If you read my website it explains that the one laptop per village would represent an opportunity for that village to earn some money, then buy another laptop and move on from there. It is just a concept at the moment but I appreciate your ideas and think about the.


Ok, i see it is a systematic give away! Sorry i havent read all of the concept fully in the website that's why. i would look for Sharek's website and hopefully it will be helpful.

I will get back to you as soon as i find it.


Here is Sharek's website :




I understand you have directed your enquiries to me because I am Egyptian and Egypt is in Africa. However, you have to know that the situation in North Africa and the Middle East (of which Egypt is part) is totally different than in Sub Saharan Africa in which you are apparently interested. For myself I have never visited any of these countries and my familiarity with them does not exceed yours. I suggest you do more research on the net, and seek the help of specialized organizations, you can start by preparing a well drafted "business plan" to convince people of the feasibility of your project, and then try sending it to these organizations. You could also try approaching some of these countries embassies, but the people there might not be very helpful or resourceful enough to give you the necessary support. I don't think you should venture by yourself and approach the people directly, it is certainly not a good idea. To teach ignorant people and change their attitudes is a difficult process that requires experience and resources of all kinds. Besides you could expose yourself to danger in areas you know nothing of.


I wish you good luck!




I am not sure I understand your below email. Do you need only some suggestions and answering these questions. May I know who are you exactly and where are you from? Do you know where I live because in your questions you are asking about suggesting villages??


On the Africa Charity Page below you will find a link to me and everything about me. Otherwise I can answer a few questions.

Yes, I would be interested in any suggestions you might have for this project.




Many thanks for your message. I would like to strongly stress my willingness and pleasure to work with you in the translation of any documents from English to Arabic.

I do highly appreciate your sincere and noble intentions.

I would like to tell you that no European country or USA want any development or advancement to Africa. They want only keep it as only a rich and endless natural and human source for what they need of its unique resources.

If you want to do something useful for Africa you must exert huge efforts for very long time. You can not do it by yourself only. It is impossible. You need to refer to the governments of Africa's countries to have their sincere support. By the way, most of such countries' leaders are exploiters. I mean they have been stealing their own countries money/capital and deposit it in foreign banks. So, you must persuade those leaders to allow you or anyone else to work their. You or anyone must help the peoples of the African countries be aware of their need to the development and advancement of their countries. They need modern education, training and advanced technology. They also need Police training as security is very bad their. They do lack in good or strong security. The most Important thing in the development of Africa is to have rich faithful people who have mutual interests with such countries. I mean they can invest their money their. They can help in the advancement of such countries and benefit from it in investing and increasing their capital. Sincerity, noble intentions, modern education, training, advanced technology and capital are the indispensable elements for the advancement and development of such a rich continent.

Have a great and nice day. You are most welcome.

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