Actually, the questions we are asked vary enormously but every website worth its salt has an FAQ page, so we’ll use this one to try to make things a bit clearer for you.
You say that TASTE is a Christian charity. Does that mean it limits its activities to just working with Christians?
Absolutely not. We work with any community or organisation who needs help. The Chokobo community was 60% Muslim and 40% Christian at the time we were working there. We have recently engaged with a community where worshipers are Muslim, Christian and pagan.
But would you work with a community that was 100% non-Christian?
Certainly – but do bear in mind that all the major religions have development and relief agencies and there is a natural tendency to first approach your own religious grouping.
While you are in a community, would you use the opportunity to share your faith with people?
If they give us an opportunity, of course. We believe that people of any faith should be ready to share their views when asked. Certainly that is true of the Muslims and Christians we meet every day in Nigeria.
But that is promoting your faith and many funders strictly forbid that!
Isn’t it interesting that funders who make such stipulation are imposing their world-view or faith quite shamelessly? Nations of the South are, by and large, nations where religion is really important and part of everyday life. They cannot understand why Funders stipulate as they do – in fact religious discussion in Nigeria is as commonplace as Brits discussing the weather!
I already support WaterAid, isn’t that the same as supporting TASTE?
Since we began, we have had nothing but support and encouragement from WaterAid staff. However, their strategy in Nigeria is to fund local government and encourage the people to hold the local government bodies to account for delivery of water services. Whilst we applaud the long-term vision behind that, there will be too many short-term casualties if nobody takes on the role of the provider, which is what we are doing. So supporting TASTE will have a much faster effect in our part of Africa, particularly with those smaller communities that every other funder ignores. In fact, during the early part of 2010, WaterAid dramatically scaled-down their activities in Nigeria, closing most of their offices.
We hear so much about corruption and scams in Nigeria! How can you guarantee that the money will be used in Nigeria in the proper way?
As a UK registered charity, we have to account to the Charity Commision on an annual basis. This means that if we don’t use donations for the purpose they were given, we could go to jail. That single fact (plus our Christian values) ensures that we monitor very, very closely every penny that we spend!
You seem very well organised, what could I possibly contribute?
Actually, although this question is rarely spoken, it seems to be in the minds of many visitors to this site. In a simple sentence, we cannot survive without supporters like you! Throughout our short lifetime, without our individual supporters we would have gone out of business. It is no exaggeration to say that every penny and every good idea came from people like you. Of course you can donate but you can also encourage, suggest projects, come up with fund-raising ideas, create fund-raising events, pray, tell friends at work/church/school/scouts/rotary and let your ‘rich friends’ know about us!