A few quotes from Julius Nyerere, the first president of Tanzania. He was a simple man, referred to by many as Mwalimu — the Swahili word teacher. I think he had some great ideas that were mingled in with some that were not so great. Anyway, here are a few of his thoughts on development and foreign aid:
It is stupid to rely on money as the major instrument of development when we know only too well that our country is poor. It is equally stupid, indeed it is even more stupid, for us to imagine that we shall rid ourselves of our poverty through financial assistance rather than through our own financial resources.
Independence means self-reliance. Independence cannot be real if a nation depends on gifts and loans from another for its development. How can we depend upon foreign governments and companies for the major part of our development without giving to those governments and countries a great part of our freedom to act as we please? The truth is we cannot.
What are your initial thoughts?
Now do this for me: Think about smaller scale development work and projects being brought into the country by non-profits organizations and the like. Think about missionaries coming to present the gospel in hopes of growing the kingdom. Think about a beggar asking for food or money. A young kid asking for help to pay for his mother’s hospital bills.
Now what are your thoughts? What role should outside moneys play in development, missions, and life in general? How can we be responsible with our giving?