“Sowing seeds of faith; Woman's prayer bears fruit for Africans” (News, Nov. 19) and “Water4, Sandy Patty join forces for holiday project” (Life, Nov. 24) dealt with what can be described as intelligent foreign aid — helping the needy to help themselves. Sharon Allen of Piedmont founded Apples for Africa, a movement responsible for establishing apple orchards in 13 African countries. The efforts of this modern day “Johnny Appleseed” led to the development of an important source of healthful nutrition and to the creation of numerous jobs that will provide economical relief to many needy communities.
The other aid project is sponsored by the Oklahoma-based nonprofit Water4, which is leading one of the world's largest humanitarian well-drilling projects. Access to clean water has a tremendous impact on the well-being and economy of communities in Sierra Leone. Through a fundraising project called “Purchase with a Purpose,” singing artist Sandi Patty is sponsoring the sale of beautiful handcrafted cards made by local women and children to support efforts to eradicate the water crisis and to support their communities.
The efforts of these nonprofit organizations, in collaboration with local foreign communities, provide meaningful, cost-effective benefits. This contrasts with the waste involved in the foreign aid programs sponsored by the federal government, where cash and military aid often ends up in the wrong hands. Some of our federal foreign aid should be funneled through nonprofit organizations with reliable connections abroad.
Raoul Carubelli, Oklahoma City