When a poor man asks you for aid, do not use his faults as an excuse for not helping him. For then God will look at your offences, and he is sure to find many.
Those of you who known me or have followed me online for some time will be aware that I (and two of the organisations I oversee - Mosaic and VOX) have long supported the work of Oasis South Africa.
As well has holding several events down the years that have raised funds and awareness for the work they do, me and my wife, Rachel, have also been out several times with different teams to work directly with them in Cosmo City, Johannesburg.
The work they are doing with young people, HIV sufferers, sex workers, and more is astounding. And they are seeing real transformation take place in the people’s lives who they are supporting and working with.
Oasis South Africa, led by some good friends of mine - Arnie and Chantel Sweigers - now have a team of 75 workers - the majority of who have been picked and trained from the very local communities they are now supporting. By our standards here in the UK or in the US, the financial payment these full time workers get is tiny - especially when you factor in how hard they work and their devotion to making a difference in their own communities.
A month or so ago, Arnie had to tell all of his workers that they wouldn’t be able to get any kind of bonus this year. Oasis, like so many charities, have been hit hard by the global economic crisis, and they simply cannot afford to offer a bonus.
Now this bonus isn’t of the kind that you or I might be used to. For us it’s a nice bit of extra cash that we can throw towards a nice new luxury item. For these workers though, it’s the difference between being able to get some school clothes for their kids, or visit their families in other parts of the country, or even buy food.
So that is why, against his nature, Arnie has decided to go public and see if there might be a way to raise some money so that each of his 75 workers can get a R1000 (£80 / $125) bonus this Christmas.
In order to do this, Arnie needs to raise R75,000 (£5950 / $9350). And that’s where you and I come in. I know that there aren’t many of us who are flush with cash at the moment, but might we be able to sacrifice even just a small amount of money to help give these amazing, hard-working South African men and women an extra special Christmas?
Please at least give it your consideration. Thank you.
In no society examined under controlled conditions have the majority of people consistently behaved selfishly. That’s perhaps why using controls or carrots and sticks to motivate people isn’t effective. We need systems that rely on engagement, communication, and a sense of common purpose and identity. Most organizations would be better off helping us to engage and embrace our collaborative, generous sentiments than assuming that we are driven purely by self-interest. In fact, systems based on self-interest, such as material rewards and punishment, often lead to less productivity than an approach oriented toward our social motivations.