Posted on June 11, 2009


shakiraFriday  morning, and I’m reading the NEW YORK TIMES SUNDAY MAGAZINE. There’s an article about Latin American pop star SHAKIRA, ever heard of her?-sure ya have! but I hadn’t.  Her name was paired with the phrase “early childhood education” and that’s what took me to the article.

So, I’m reading about SHAKIRA and her foundation and all the work she is doing in Latin America building schools and talking to presidents  and ministries and mobilizing the families of that part of the world where the wealth resides. And then a name pops out and hits me like a ton of bricks. HOWARD BUFFET, son of WARREN BUFFET, now I had heard that name! Well apparently Howard is hip and “Hips don’t lie!” the title of her mega hit. He has put some of his immense wealth behind Shakira.

Want me to let you in on a little secret: HOWARD BUFFET HAS BEEN A GUEST OF FOUR VILLAGES INN!

Yes, he was here in this part of the world with  of a World Vision team along with his mum Susan, who has since passed on. And do you know what-Charity and I  didn’t know who they were either.  No kidding! We knew they were  important given the number of Land Cruisers in our compound and the number of high level World Vision staff that were accompanying them. That was in June, 2002! No Howard since. They were here on a well digging project if memory serves me correctly on the Afram Plains in the Eastern Region of Ghana. There is so much to do and so few resources.

The article contrasts her brand of celebrity aid with that of the G8 stars of poverty reduction fame Bono and Geldof. She’s working in her own part of the world and targeting one area whereas the the G8 are working in foreign territory and raising money not specifically targeted.

No matter, need is great and growing greater in these  times of  global recession , but these sub-saraharian countries need champions of their own to come down and work. Howard has probably moved on. Now it’s time for the elites of these countries and the foreign diaspoa stars to return to meet the challenge. Nothing much is going to happen from inside-bandaids at best.

Posted in: AID