Why Africa? Why not help in our own backyard?

November 17, 2010 7:27 pm Published by

When I am speaking about our work in Tanzania, a question that seems to consistently arise, is: why there, why Tanzania? Why go halfway around the world, when there are so many people here in the America that need your help? It is an interesting question, and one that I have thought long and hard about, and my answer changes slightly from time to time. This very question was recently posed to me by Ashli Sims (JBFC Board Member and News on 6 Reporter), who is working on JBFC’s documentary “Little by Little.” We were exchanging emails and Ashli, with her incredible persistence, kept trying to figure out what makes JBFC and me tick. She wanted to know the ins and outs of why and how I am doing, and this question kept coming to the surface, despite my best efforts to evade the question.

She has recently compiled my answers to many of her questions, and I thought it would be interesting to share some of her journalistic work on why I am doing what I am doing…

I believe we all have a calling in life, we all have a purpose. If we all followed this calling, the world would be a much better place. I truly feel that Tanzania and these girls, this work, is my calling in life. I am right at home and I feel this is where I should be, doing exactly what I should be doing… I agree there are tons of girls, people, animals, and environmental issues in America that need help, but I also believe that in America, we have the luxury of systems that work to protect and assist people. I have worked in the public sector in New York, and I know how frustrating the bureaucracy and the formalities of our systems can be…however there are systems in place in America, and compared to Tanzania, they work like a very well-oiled machine (mind you, this is definitely in comparison). Since there is a complete lack of systems in Africa, and the third world, I believe these children and the impoverished lives that most people lead, require more help in Tanzania, than is needed in America. When we are working in Tanzania – we are the only system in place to help these people. Whereas in America, there are tons of opportunities, comparatively, that help people bring themselves out of hard times.

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This post was written by Mainsprings