Trade Not Aid: Andrew Rugasira

7 09 2009

Session 2, Day 2 was from Andrew Rugasira, who is the founder of Good African Coffee.  Andrew is from Africa and talked solely on developing TRADE not AID for Africa.  Talk about making you think in a new paradigm.  Who shared TONS of information on how aid to Africa has ended up making them dependent upon it and not seeking out the ability to get themselves out of poverty by trade and business.  He is doing EVERYTHING he can to change that through the Good African Coffee company.  I didn’t write a ton down from his sessions, but here is some stuff.

—  How can we SOLVE the problems in our cultures, NOT just aid them.  (side note:  Pastor Kody just started doing something new here at Element.  We get a TON of benevolence requests each week from people who are in need. We’ve rarely said “no” and are even developing a reputation in Cheyenne that we help.  In fact, other churches have told benevolence people to “Go to Element”.  It’s not that we have loads of money to give, but we’ve been generous with whats been given to us.  ANYWAY, I digress.  Since this conference, outside of emergency requests that need assistance immediately, Kody is asking people if they are willing to work for aid.  It’s been a GREAT filter for people who are truly trying to “earn” a living and in need, or those who are just looking for a handout.  It’s worked great and I think we are going to continue it.  Side note done.)

—  Aid creates a chronic dependence.  (Maybe we in the US should think about this in our own country)

—  How do we create change WITH our compassion.

—  We need to re-construct our thinking.  Kindness is not demonstrated through handouts, but through helping people help themselves.





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