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Re: [mendenyo] Misunderstanding? (money as it relates to our work together)

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  • Janet Feldman
    Dear Pam and All, Thanks so much for taking the time to delineate this carefully and with consideration. It is most helpful. I want to add that I too did
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 7, 2009
      Dear Pam and All,
      Thanks so much for taking the time to delineate this carefully and with consideration. It is most helpful.
      I want to add that I too did exactly what Andrius did. I am not saying that so people will think better of me. There are issues to address, as Pam pointed out earlier, for those of us who borrowed beyond our means to pay, saddling us with "burdens" in one sense, even while we feel good about what we accomplished, in part because we did extend ourselves that far.
      I am sharing this with people for two reasons:   a) because I am in about the same boat as Andrius, but I have a different perspective on how/where any monies donated to us should be disbursed (this is not said as a "right" or "wrong", judgment call in any way, it more reflects on gender, differences in approach re "individual" or "collective", and the like)   b) because the true "costs" of anything we do should be acknowledged, in my view.
      The reason for this is that there may be, on the part of some, the idea that funds are as readily available at all times as they were a year ago. Thus a lack of understanding why one may be turned away now, re funds donation--or why donations are so small, relative to last year--with misunderstanding, anger, frustration, and resentment sometimes resulting.
      As a group of people, a "family" in a way, we do need to address and understand the issues and challenges that money presents, for all of us. And those of us who have more immediate access to some money need to address the longer-term costs of borrowing funds we do not have a known way to repay.
      This actually weakens our longer-term work--because there is less funding for other things that might come up, more worry and focus on how to get money to repay debt, and the like--and sometimes creates dubious ethical situations, or at least colors and may even cloud judgment about a particular form of action related to getting money.
      Money is something so needed, and therefore we collectively and individually must address the getting and spending of it. However, it is also something that has a strong corrosive power too, which also must be acknowledged. Even putting aside its corrosive power, it exerts strong influence on us all as individuals and in our collective work.
      These kinds of "misunderstandings" or differences can have a powerful effect for the good--if they are addressed with an eye towards future changes in policy and action--and I hope that is true in this case.  There is no doubt that Andrius would use part of any personal reimbursements obtained for the collective good, even if he defines that as helping "individuals" among us.
      However, sometimes he and I--and others reading this may also relate--need to learn to say "no" in the first place, to be our own best friend. And to separate personal need from collective good, in the very same way that all of those who ask for money or other resources need to do.
      We need to understand the position we are putting each other in by having this relationship--which can be helpful but also fraught--and to see how "challenging" this can for our personal relationships, let alone our work together.
      Thanks again, Pam, for this and so much more, and I hope we can have these discussions 'soonest'!  All best wishes and blessings, Janet
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Saturday, March 07, 2009 4:44 PM
      Subject: [mendenyo] Misunderstanding?

      Peter Ongele wrote
      Andrius, you again now instead turned on your calculation of
      > reimbursement, awarding yourself big figures of money, unfortunately
      > only to you and for your personal gain...

      I think there may be some confusion. Many people contributed to PoP in various ways - too many to mention here.

      I will only consider Andrius' contribution here, because he has been seeking money and I think there may be some  misunderstanding related to this.

      This is how I undersatnd it:

      1 - Andrius gave freely of his time (so did many other people)
      2 - Andrius gave money (so did other people)
      3 - Andrius gave more money than he could easily afford to give (a few other people did this too)
      4 - When there was no more money Andrius did something very special. Although he had no money left he continued to give.
      How could he do this?  He borrowed in order to give (until the recent "Credit-crunch" it has been possible to borrow money in the industrialised countries, as long as you pay to do so. It is how the economies worked - by people borrowing money.) Of course borrowing money is expensive - you have to pay to use it - just like you have to pay rent to a landlord if you want to use a house, or you pay a hire fee to a car hire company if you want to use their car. Andrius is still paying the interest (the hire fee) for the money that he borrowed to send to Kenya. The money has gone to Kenya to PoP and it has all been spent. We all hope it was spent wisely. Andrius  is still "paying the rent" on the money that he borrowed. He will have to pay this rent every month until he is able to repay the money that he borrowed.

      I admire Andrius for what he did during PoP. I would like to see him free of the burden of paying interest on the money that was sent to Kenya. That can only happen if he is able to repay all of that borrowed money.

      As for how he tries to find that money, and any other issues regarding money, I am not commenting. I simply want to make sure that people understand clearly the issue of the debt - the money Andrius borrowed - and the problems that he faces as a result.

      I think some people have a very big misunderstanding of Minciu Sodas - based on experiences of big NGOs which have big budgets, and paid staff, and donors,  and many people fund-raising for them. Minciu Sodas is nothing like that.


      peter ongele wrote:
      > Dear All,
      > I've been taking low profile on recently issue :
      > 1: POP.....At one time I raised this issue in the forum here. I
      > accepted the fact of the great work which was done by MS Lab to help
      > Kenya back to peace. After a long time, after the signing of the
      > amendment accord for grand coalition of government, our efforts seemed
      > to had stopped. I raised the issue of the prolonged suffering of the
      > IDPs in the country and asked the colleagues and friends if we could
      > org anise again to help these our beloved friends internally displaced
      > and lucked very much in health and food attention, do you know, I
      > remember that's the time I got sharp critics from my colleagues from
      > Africa...disagreed with Kofi Thompson from Ghana completely. Later I
      > could see this in the forum from a colleague from Kenya here and
      > people slightly contributed and went quite...I don't know whether
      > Rachel Kungu is working on that.
      > Andrius, you again now instead turned on your calculation of
      > reimbursement, awarding yourself big figures of money, unfortunately
      > only to you and for your personal gain....I again wondered, whether
      > its the right way of doing things while the people whom you want get
      > the money at their expense are suffering in camps and loosing life due
      > to poor health and food attention.....surely what is happening
      > Andrius. Let us be serious, let us not play politics with each other,
      > I mean let us be honest with each other. First time, I talked of
      > accountability and transparency of the MS Lab projects, Peter Burgess
      > identified to help, up to date from the lab here, a part from malaria,
      > is there any body who has done any project of the lab who has come out
      > with in formations to work with him for better sustainability of these
      > projects. I don't believe and trust to be given money which I don't
      > report, account the sustainability and transparency of the
      > money...this person giving me this money is tricking
      > me to exploit me in one way or the other. I've reservations on whether
      > the dollars sent to Kenya was used wisely, so if you make an attempt
      > to go with this to Kofi Annan, I doubt the success of you being paid
      > back your big dollars.
      > Andrius, you've been writing proposals and blogging, usually some
      > of them you get paid, expose to us your calculations on how you would
      > use the moneys.....unfortunately when it comes to Africa whom you
      > mostly get paid at their expenses, you allocate very little money for
      > them and even having things hanging.....why is this happening. I would
      > rather feel you take 1/2 to Europe and 1/2 to Africa if the work is
      > more related to Africa.
      > All these problems come because you refused to institulise MS Lab
      > and simple this your sole property. Let us be honest, even sitting
      > down like this to write means a lot, let us regard to each and every
      > person. Let us share what we have be it in formations or whatever
      > resources we may be having.
      > Lastly, I'm looking for work, be it on line , I don't see the
      > future at all at the place where I temporarily work.....the funding
      > looks to be ending next month for the work I do. Two I still appeal to
      > friends, my financial status is very bad, with my condition and the
      > dependents, anybody having heart of helping , please can do this to me.
      > Andrius, you would forgive me for this my observation but I suppose
      > it might at point help in the managing of MS Lab for the number is
      > growing big...with independent thoughts.
      > Peter Ongele.
      > --- On *Thu, 3/5/09, Samwel Kongere /<jambita1@...>/* wrote:
      > From: Samwel Kongere <jambita1@...>
      > Subject: Re: [mendenyo] Samwel, how are you provoking yourself?
      > To: mendenyo@yahoogroups.com
      > Cc: learningfromeachother@yahoogroups.com,
      > holistichelping@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Thursday, March 5, 2009, 5:58 PM
      > Fine Andrius,
      > I am at a position and have roled out, made many ideas
      > before but taking and using peoples ideas in the
      > public domain is a matter of concern for me and other
      > Kenyans and everybody. What i have is at simple stage
      > and global stage, i have have a clear focus on
      > sustainable local community resposible tourism and
      > agriculture, and my thinking can be challenged at a
      > level but how can some community focus be misused? I
      > am very aware of my endeavours, community and and a
      > full plan of what i can achieve, they can achieve? To
      > some extent the community as well as me should achieve
      > a goal. My last question is are the donors other
      > communities in the world understanding our cause,
      > needs and ideas and if so or not? How can we change
      > our trends? And, if we cannot change them through the
      > available media then we better leave working on their
      > behalf (community). I can go further if i like, but if
      > you allow me let me keep the community peace of
      > interests private at cases. I know our needs' i do not
      > want to act beyond odds, i have worked in community
      > malaria control for nine years but the implementation
      > stage is still a dream post. Who will score? The goal
      > keeper or the defender, forwarders, or spectators or
      > it is a draw? The concept might be same but wordings
      > different?
      > Samwel.
      > --- Andrius Kulikauskas <ms@... <mailto:ms%40ms.lt>> wrote:
      > > Samwel,
      > >
      > > I liked your letter on "Sustainability is a poor
      > > teacher!'' I didn't
      > > quite understand you. But I think what you meant is
      > > that, if things are
      > > going well for a person, then will they be
      > > interested to learn? Are
      > > Americans or Europeans interested to take big leaps
      > > or are they hoping
      > > to get by with tiny changes? Minciu Sodas is
      > > thriving in Africa (thanks
      > > to your help!) because Africans are willing to
      > > participate in entirely
      > > new approaches. The global economic crisis opens up
      > > business opportunity
      > > for our lab because people may take a fresh look at
      > > what we have to
      > > offer (like global teams or Public Domain learning
      > > materials).
      > >
      > > Samwel, I appreciate your leadership and how you've
      > > inspired many people
      > > in our lab, both in Africa and around the world.
      > >
      > > Independent thinkers provoke themselves; dependent
      > > thinkers are provoked
      > > by others. So if you provoke people, then are you
      > > fostering dependent
      > > thinking or independent thinking?!
      > >
      > > Samwel, my question is, how are you provoking
      > > yourself? What don't you
      > > know that you would like to know? What do you want
      > > to investigate?
      > >
      > > We then understand you as a leader, somebody who
      > > provokes themselves,
      > > and invites us by their example to provoke
      > > ourselves, too.
      > >
      > > Your trip to London is a great investment by our
      > > lab, by myself and our
      > > participants in London. Also, you are representing
      > > all of us. It's not
      > > enough that you benefit, but that you help others
      > > benefit, too. Also,
      > > it's good if your projects might strengthen our lab,
      > > where that's possible.
      > >
      > > So please write more: What is it that you don't know
      > > that you'd like to
      > > discover? What would you like to achieve after you
      > > have stopped working
      > > as a community organizer? What would you like to
      > > accomplish in London?
      > > What kind of people would you like to meet there?
      > > What would you like to
      > > achieve in London for other people who you know?
      > > What is your plan for
      > > Mendenyo in the coming year?
      > >
      > > Who are "you guys"? Is that how I treat you? Why
      > > should anybody give you
      > > funds? What are you offering? And is that what we
      > > are all about?
      > >
      > > Your answers help me understand that I'm doing the
      > > right thing by
      > > purchasing your ticket to London. I know many good
      > > things about your
      > > work in the past. But please write about your work
      > > with me and others in
      > > the future. What will that mean for you? And what
      > > could that mean for
      > > our lab?
      > >
      > > I can fly you to London or I can save the money. I'd
      > > prefer you come!
      > >
      > > If you do come to London, I will need your help, and
      > > all of our help, to
      > > keep our expenses at a minimum, and to be as light a
      > > burden as possible
      > > on all who will help us. We are coming to work. We
      > > have very few resources.
      > >
      > > Andrius
      > >
      > > Andrius Kulikauskas
      > > Minciu Sodas
      > > ms@... <mailto:ms%40ms.lt>
      > > http://www.ms. lt <http://www.ms.lt>
      > >
      > >
      > > Samwel Kongere wrote:
      > > > Andrius,
      > > > I wanted to provoke thinkers and surely i have
      > > > provoked them. You wanted me to role out what i
      > > expect
      > > > from my London visit. I need support for the
      > > > consotium, funds and nothing else to tell the
      > > people
      > > > truth starting from us.
      > > > I know Tom Ochuka, and Ken Chelimo are feeders to
      > > my
      > > > thoughts. The budget is what matters and it starts
      > > > with you guys.
      > > > Lets put our focus together.
      > > > Samwel.
      > > > --- Benoit Couture <benoitctr@yahoo. com
      > <mailto:benoitctr%40yahoo.com>> wrote:
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      > > Dear all,
      > >
      > > I am preparing another community focus on
      > > Sustainable Local Community
      > > Responsible Tourism and Agriculture this year
      > > (2009), after 2008 on
      > > Female empowerment on Information Communication
      > > Technology and
      > > Entrepreneurship, I ask myself why? sustainability
      > > is a poor teacher? Is
      > > success a poor teacher? Or which is which?
      > > We learn about ourselves when we fail. So, do not be
      > > afraid of failing.
      > > Failing is the process of the success. You must have
      > > success without
      > > failing. So; does it mean; unsuccessful people; are
      > > people who never
      > > fail? It is not unemployment which matters, it is
      > > about who you are
      > > keep striving you will become somebody. Quit and you
      > > become
      > > somebodybut you are the same person again; I think
      > > it is all about
      > > becoming who you are!!!
      > > My Malaria leader Hibrahim usually calls me
      > > dog-fool and encourages me
      > > to keep on failing and success is at the conner,
      > > this to him, these are
      > > funniest words he remained my mentor. A mentor is
      > > someone who had done
      > > what you want to do .and successful at doing it.
      > > Do not find an
      > > adviser. I think an adviser is someone who tells you
      > > how to do it. Most
      > > of the advisers are selfish, ego-centered people. Be
      > > careful of the
      > > advice you take, you must keep your mind open,
      > > always be first aware of
      > > which advice is coming from where.
      > > My mentor Andrius, taught me about systems of
      > > independent leadership,
      > > thinking, networking in the public domain. A leader
      > > has to be a leader
      > > of people not a manager of people, why? Managers see
      > > their subordinates
      > > as inferiors. Leaders must direct people, they are
      > > smarter. After I
      > > dropped my predicament on volunteer and enclave of
      > > unemployment; began
      > > researching, networking, contributing my social
      > > understanding among
      > > other independent thinkers (leaders) on Public
      > > Domain issues: I found
      > > out that there were sincerely and diligently
      > > building successful
      > > networks and the globe. When I met these comrades
      > > virtually on www.ms.lt
      > > <http://www.ms. lt/ <http://www.ms.lt/>> and discussion groups,
      > I saw
      > > impact of independent
      > > thinking on other peoples lives and financial
      > > futures. I began to truly
      > > appreciate the value of the networking on public
      > > domain issues.
      > > Anywhere, I was learning to overcome my fears of
      > > being rejected and
      > > stopped worrying what other people will say about
      > > me.
      > > To learn to lead people, working with different
      > > kinds of people
      > > Hardest thing about success are those who are
      > > actually natural leaders.
      > > Surely, the ability to get long and inspire is a
      > > priceless skill. I
      > > found out in MS. Lab. I said skill can be learned.
      > > In conclusion, ongoing long term, educational
      > > programs, to develop you
      > > as a human being with self confidence is vital on
      > > the right side of
      > > relevant thinking development of success. I
      > > therefore, congratulate the
      > > leadership intertwined on the: Accessing, Reusing
      > > public sector and data
      > > in Minciu Sodas Lab which will continue to upgrade
      > > my social and
      > > community development background.
      > > Let us have another thinking day.
      > > Samwel.
      > >
      > === message truncated ===
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