Our Values

Guiding Principles

I have discovered the painful truth that good intentions do not always produce good results. I have witnessed this truth in my own life, and at times, it has been discouraging to find that my good intentions actually caused harm. Although I continue on the path of self-discovery in this area, I have learned some valuable lessons along the way that I now consider our guiding principles or values.

  • Primarily, above all else, we believe that everything we do in our community should come out of the simple directive of Jesus himself, to love God and to love others.
  • Asset based community development, or ABCD, is a concept we adhere to. We do not look at the lack in our community, but at all the positive assets God has given us and work from there.
  • I have learned that I, a white American male, do not have the answers for an African rural community, and that we should listen to the voices of the people in the community we serve.
  • We believe in building the skills of local people within our community. Therefore, our staff in South Africa are local community members, not outside professionals.
  • We do not believe in a hierarchical system but we serve as equals together.
  • We do not believe in giving away our services, so we ask the stakeholders in our community to pay a small fee for our services at the preschool. We have found this to be a highly important aspect of our work, as it has become a valued asset in the community.
  • We do not believe in bringing overseas teams to do disaster tourism, i.e. to view people sick with AIDS. Likewise, we do not believe in bringing ‘work’ teams to our community, a community that suffers with 80% unemployment. What we do promote and welcome, are teams or individuals to come and join us at the preschool, to come alongside our teachers and staff to cooperatively assist in our normal operations.
  • We highly value reaching out to donors to create an international team of passionate people together with our local team in South Africa.
  • Finally, we believe in complete financial transparency with donors and stakeholders. We are a small organization made up of individual donors who have a passion to see children loved and developed. We do not receive financial assistance from governments or from large foundations.
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All of our activities are filtered through this simple statement:

Love God, Love Others

Letting Go: What South Africa, Poverty and Two Orphans Taught Me

Letting Go: What South Africa, Poverty and Two Orphans Taught Me