Trip to Tanout Niger

Trip to Tanout Niger
Zinder Niger West Africa
Sunday, October 8, 2006

I will travel today from Zinder to Tonout, Niger in some type of jeep truck to visit the Eden Foundation.

This is a multi-generational family operation, I do not know the detail, but as best I can surmise, Josef is the son of his Father and Mother that came form Sweden and founded this project. Josef and his Dutch wife have lived for something like six years in Niger and I think Josef has lived over 20 years of his life in Zinder or Niger.

Map of my trip, the blue is the route I traveled from Natitingou, Benin to Zinder, Niger very fast. I will today in comfort drive from Zinder to Tanout in Josef’s truck, and see his project for growing foods needed in Niger.

His business card of sorts above, I photographed it when I was in Lome, Togo and Stellen the bike rider from Sweden explained about the project, and told me to go visit if I came this direction.

Stellan has traveled to around 10 countries or more in Africa by riding his bike. Africa Bike Trip

I am excited to be invited to go and see his project, because it is the only project I know or can see in Niger that is working on a solution to malnutrition and not just collecting money from donations and squandering it on ridiculous projects. The three organizations that maybe I would say are in the business of saving dying children do very little, other than to make the problem larger by saving children for the next year to have the same problem.

1. Medecins Sans Frontieres
2. Red Cross
3. Red Crescent

Medecins Sans Frontieres - or
- Doctors without Borders - in English

I talked with a many from the Geneva Switzerland branch, I guess there is many different countries, and each may have their own MSF service, last time when I was in Zinder there were five separate countries with five separate operations all operating separately.

This to me, and I am proud of Bill Gates, he is making this an essential aspect of money he gives to NGO operations in Africa, they must share the information.

I do not believe a person is working for the good of the world, save the children, save the whale, hug a tree, when they work independently and do not share actively, proactively all the problems they find and all the solutions they can muster. If this works, then it needs to be broadcast to the world quickly, efficiently and transparent, with no agendas.

There are a couple levels to the malnutrition problem in Niger, the first part is intervention and saving a child that is in risk of immediate death because of malnutrition problems. A malnutrition-affected person is weakened, and then something like malaria or an infection kills the weakened person.

This is what Doctors without Borders, and the Red Cross, Red Crescent do; they provide food in feeding centers to areas of mass problems.

I am returning to Zinder with the hope of know, is the problem the same as last year. Now if it is the same, then was all the NGO here just a reaction to CNN and BBC saying there was a famine, all the NGO reacted and came, but if no news reports, do they not come.

There are very few NGO here that are in full operation and I can see working, I do not see the NGO-ONG-SUV-TOYOTAS driving around, I do see NGO vehicles being driven by probably Niger people, but the influx of non-Niger persons seems to be gone. The hotels are empty.

Ok, the idea is this, if the problem is the same as last year, then why are not the same amount of press and NGO ONG here.

I am 85 percent sure that the Press finds a real problem, magnifies the problem. Then the NGO-ONG will go to the problem, piggyback on the bad news of the problem, using this as a marketing or promotional method to raise donations. When the new disappears, so do the NGO or ONG.

What even disturbs me more is I can see that many of the major organizations advertise on BBC and CNN. Therefore, it behooves CNN and BBC to make a problem a disaster to the level where the nice people of the planet donate to the problem. Therefore making great amounts of money for both the large news companies, BBC and CNN in the form of advertising revenue form the NGO and the NGO make tons of money in the form of Donations. This is a win win situation, creating as Michael Crichton says, a State of Fear, selling the fear; make money off of advertising for the media and donations for the NGO.

I am working slowly and diligently on the problems and solutions of Malnutrition.

I have an ORG., the org stands for in many ways my totally not to be trusted word called.
- Organization. -

This is the sad part, I am learning to not trust an organization, if they say foundation, project, or organization, I instantly think,
- You live off free money by getting them to give you money. You do not work, and do not have to report or prove you accomplished anything. -

I was going to apply for the Non-Profit Status in the USA, but stopped or delayed the filing as I think I know how to fund the organization, other than to have or me, full pay for almost all the cost, as of now, it is about 99.9 percent me, I have received a long time ago some moneys towards good will type project, maybe about 50 U.S. Dollars.

I am working on an online accounting system for this organization where in real time a person could contribute and see the change of pro forma cash flow. I am not collecting money and as of today, do not see any reason why I need to collect money.

As an alternative, and strange as it sounds, the Volunteers of the world, normally pay to volunteer, thereby the revenues of a Volunteer organization pointed at the malnutrition project would make a self-funding sustainable form of income, plus I can also collect advertising fees on the site and help pay.

I think I can make a self-funding operation that used the money of volunteers and advertisers 100 percent to pay for the project. No, need for donation, although a person paying to volunteer could be said to be making a donation to help the project.

The normal cost of being a volunteer overseas is between 150 to 1200 US dollars per month. If a person signs up normally they pay around 300 US dollars a month for the amount of time they volunteer to the organization. Therefore if a person volunteers to work for thee months they pay an application fee of 900 Dollars, in addition they may or not pay for the housing, and food, normally I believe the housing is provide, but the food is not.

The cost to provide a hotel or room in most countries like say Niger is about one US dollars per day, so the cost of giving the room is 30 per month, and say miscellaneous cost is four per day, then the cost to house a volunteer is about 150 per month, then the organization pockets about 150 per month from every volunteer. This money can be used to buy seeds, moringa trees, and any thing needed.

Most of the problems with Malnutrition are not money issues, they are educational issues. There are large amounts of money available for food and crisis problem. The doctors without borders are well funded and you can tell, by the cars they drive.

Taking donations remove the desire to be profitable; I do not wish to make an organization that does think income and expenses. How do we generate income and then manage it efficiently.

There will not be a need to sing a song of sadness to promote the organization.

Trip to Tanout Niger


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