meegan2.jpg "Then Where Is Your God?"

"Don’t worry, all will be well. It’s ok. This god is here. That god is in you. That God is what you’re going to do about this suffering. God is in this people. The more you live in Africa, the more you realize the power of faith in these countries. That’s the wonderful thing. You don’t leave Africa overwhelmed with despair, in tears. You leave Africa inspired, because you realize that this continent is so powerful. It’s so strong, has so much love, so much energy…"

Dr Michael Meegan, international director of ICROSS, in an interview with BBC Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur sometime earlier in 2005.

I came home from a play at the theater last night and still had some energy left to be wasted in front of tv when I came across this interesting interview on BBC World with Michael who is said to be in Kenya since 27 years now. Despite of the interesting and commendable work he does in assisting the people living or even dying with HIV+, his words and content smile speak for themselves: the man has found his place.
In addition, I think his criticism towards international aid & dev. organisations and their ever changing policies is absolutely justified.

"I have always believed it is our actions, not our thoughts that matter. Tears have never fed a child, pity has never healed a wound. Unless words become deeds, unless dreams are lived, they are mere deceptions".
(Dr. Michael Meegan)

Interesting to note, btw, that people in Germany will be spending around 100 million EUROs on fireworks on the last day of this year (on a single day!). According to ICROSS’ donation information, that’s a lot of food, vaccinations or mosquito nets. Hmmm….

p.s.: ati, isn’t that mzee Thesiger? :-)

Author: jke

Hi, I am an engineer who freelances in water & sanitation-related IT projects at You'll also find me on Twitter @jke and Instagram.

6 thoughts on “inspiratio”

  1. Hey Kikuyumoja. Thanks so much for your entry! Very interesting.
    I listened to the interview and I found His first part of the answer to the “Where is your God” question quite good.

    He said. “Thats why I was there, I was there to be HIS hands, I was there to cherish, I was there to serve.” The BBC guy pushed him a bit and I guess he was afraid to sound to “christian” but while I don’t necessarily agree to his second part of the answer, I am a believer in the first part – namely that God is there, seen through people. Not that people ARE God – by no means (the 2nd part sounds a bit like that I admit) – rather that when people make themselves available to serve, to help, to reach out – and as a service to God for the people, God is there through them. I think we can safely say that that’s the reason why most (not all!!) aid and help organisation actually have or had a christian background.

    I liked His long-term-assessment of the problems in Africa, but at the same time – and that might have been something to ask him about as well – I felt he was too much focused on aiding the body, life situations and circumstances . I personally would always also, as a second step, start to look at the spiritual well-being of people. I believe that’s the key to real happiness and peace, not so much political systems and medical systems – and results are much faster and more longlasting.

    Thanks again J.
    Have a good 2006! Blessings.

  2. I believe in that saying that “tears has never fed a child and pity has never healed a wound” . Most of the organizations have talked but most do not walk the walk. Indeed, African is strong , capable and will make it and I wish Africans believed in ourselves as much. 58 that was an interesting insight but may I point out that there are other non-christians organizations that are doing great job in Africa. I think African have always been people of faith ever since the beginning of time. Before introduction to christianity, Africans had their traditional beliefs and still do and that happiness and inner peace is not at all lacking in an African environment. As an African, I have a problem with Christian Organization who tend to forget this factor of our people’s belief.
    Back to Africa and its problem. I think if Africans believed they can and stop relying on Aid , then we can. Necessity is the mother of all inventions. Although this is easier said than done per se, if we Africans are so ingrained in getting handouts from outsiders,then we will not strive to look for local ways to help ourselves and forget the international organizations and their so called aid ,after all, they are more interested in their tax deductible aspect of it I can imagine .(.okay that is unfounded accusation) but how long again have most of these organization been in Africa now? and why is it still a mystery on how to make sure help is reaching the grassroot level?. Yet I read articles and a plethora of books on this subject of helping Africa . JKE I don’t think the Germans or Americans were thinking much about Africa and the much money used on fireworks. I wonder how much the NewYork display costs? Even New Orleans had one while its residents are still homeless after Katrina .mmmmhhh.

  3. A quick note: Why was that interview being conducted in the bushes:-)) We have offices and other non-savannah backgrounds you know :-)))

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