Int'l Aid

The Aid Dillema

This week I'm feeling more and more convinced that money can't solve anything around here. That may be obvious, but it's a daily frustration as everyone from personal friends, to the staff that works at the house, and the random person on the street asks us for loans, money for their cousin in the hospital, school fees, food, anything and everything! The challenge is...if you say yes once, the expectation is that you can help the next time, and the next person/people as well.

After developing a friendship, we decided to give a Malawian friend a six month loan of $100 to start a rice business. We saw this as a personal investment and an opportunity to learn how business works in Malawi. Our friend has great people skills, a lot of enthusiasm, some experience trading maize, and a large local network of friends who could be suppliers and potential clients. We challenged him to do simple market research ahead of time and when through cost analysis and cash flow budget scenarios with him ahead of time.

The Box Project

Our so called “Box Project” involves a large shipment of humanitarian aid supplies that will be delivered to Malawi through collaboration between World Care International and the University of Arizona. World Care is directed and founded by Lisa Hopper, a former teacher, who has experience shipping aid supplies to more than 30 different countries over the last ten years. Hopper and her volunteers are especially experts in getting books and school supplies into the hands of children and communities in developing countries.

This will be World Care’s first shipment to Malawi, for which they are partnering with Dr. Wayne Decker and his International Studies students from the University of Arizona. Three students are responsible for fundraising the $15,000 needed to cover transport costs, while World Care will provide all of the supplies to fill a 40ft shipping container. This is serious business!