Special message regarding Corruption: The Tanzanian government is struggling with corruption which is rife throughout Tanzania and is a major stumbling block to the ongoing development of the country. Sadly this ‘corruption’ filters down from the very highest levels down to the very lowest. Even people in the villages (and sadly even ‘Christians’ and church leaders) are sometimes happy to compromise what they know to be ‘right’ in order to make private gain. We at Bethany are not immune from this accepted cultural idea - most of the problems we have experienced are brought about by those who have worked along side us but have then put their own personal needs before that of the work we are doing and by so doing have compromised their relationship with God (as Christians) and their position with Bethany. One particular form of ‘corruption’ is practised on visitors to Bethany whereby the employee (or villager who is articulate enough in English) makes an emotional appeal in the hope that a gift will be forthcoming (e.g. food, school fees, new clothes, new roof, new house, etc etc.) This form of soliciting a gift has come in the past from those at Bethany who have a practised and effective speech prepared (which many professional actors would be envious of). A speech and a plea to the emotions that is hard to ignore (I have heard and been touched by many). However, I have never heard anyone make a plea for anyone else other than themselves or their family. However the successful recipients of the gifts are usually those who are in the least need and the best paid. Sadly when the money or gifts have been given they don’t always end up being spent on the perceived need. Clothes that have been given for children (not Bethany children) end up being taken from the children by their parents and being sold on the nearest market to raise funds to buy ‘drink’. The latest ‘must have’ in Tanzania is a mobile phone. They are expensive to buy and very expensive to use but ownership of such a trinket is a high priority which is often viewed as more desirable than food, clothes or education.
Obviously as Bethany is a Christian organisation we hold to the very highest standards of truth, integrity, honesty, openness, transparency etc. and we find operating in the Tanzanian culture very difficult. That is not to say that we don’t have dishonesty and corruption in the UK only practised differently.
Many people (and christians) in the UK are reluctant to contribute financially to third world projects because of the stories they have heard of the misuse of money.
At Bethany we acknowledge the problem and are more and more committed to working to eradicate all forms of this insidious evil which stunts the development of the work and destroys (spiritually) those involved in it. New initiatives are currently being discussed and new policies will be implemented in consultation with our Tanzanian team and government officials.
Two interesting article are available on this topic, both written from the Tanzanian perspective
Click here for article 1 (which includes short write-ups on the skinning of children and the murdering of old ladies)
and click here for article 2
Also of interest is the email issued by Tim Broughton who started a work in Kenya. (click here to view)
Also of interest is an extract from Kanyawegi children’s home update for April 2003. Click here to view