teamoperu wrote:Since this is posted in the Conversation sub-forum...
This makes the hair on my neck stand up. White man hand delivers bags of used clothing and trinkets to the locals of the tribe... you know, the tribes people he stays with... I do not know the man, nor anything about his project, but have seen similar far too many times in Peru...
Is he really a working anthropologist (not a sales pitch man) and from where is his degree? What does hand delivering bags of used clothing got to do with anthropology? Does he know the Prime Directive? Tribes in Huaraz? Like I say, I do not know this man, but I have met many others with similar projects while we sip piscos up front in Biz class the airplane.
But even Mr Killon seems to agree that some caution, listening to those hairs, might be appropriate. I'll quote Jim's blog: “My meeting with the new volunteer coordinator was equally disturbing. Alex told me, "Jim, come on man! Do you really think that any of us are actually making real changes in the world? When volunteers come to Peru and help some kids with their homework and hug them, is it really the turning of the tide of poverty or despair? Let me tell you how it is; we bring in volunteers who pay a fee to the NGO and spend some time with children they work with. They feel good doing it and feel that they made some altruistic accomplishment to put on their resume' when they return to their home countries. It is mental masturbation for them. They pay us to feel good for a month or two in South America. If you believe anything to the contrary, you are deceiving yourself."
JimKillon wrote:While I appreciate the comments made regarding the NGO, Changes for New Hope and the efforts that we have invested to help the children living in impoverished conditions, perhaps some clarification needs to be made to put some things in perspective. I had to smile at Teamoperu's comments as I read them because I have addressed them from other skeptics throughout the years I have been in Huaraz. Some have been well meaning individuals who only wanted to understand who we were and exactly what we were doing before investing their own time and money to help us. Others have been closed minded and so ready to become combative regardless of glaring evidence that we are the "Real Deal", that I am resigned to take the position, "Never try to convince the unconvincible." I'm going to bet the farm that our ranting friend posting here is of the first ilk and respond with what illumination that I can share.
Teamoperu states,"Jim Killon himself argues against it calling a NGOs president/director “a lecherous miscreant and donations expected to be used for the poor children were funding adult debauchery”. Who is to say he isn't doing the same? – not to suggest he is. NGOs at least have financial books that can be accessed, does he? NGOs are somehow accountable to someone, is he?"
In response, the first NGO that I came to volunteer with was a disaster. My comments he quotes from my book, 'A Gringo in Peru-A Story of Compassion in Action' is not only accurate to describe the situation but mild. I did not want to make the book about the negatives, just what I saw and stepped away from to create my own NGO.
His comment, "Who is to say that he isn't doing the same thing?"
You may find it interesting to know that I created this project with my own personal life savings and received no donations from anyone for about the first two years. I normally do not mention that because it sounds like I am throwing flowers at myself, which is not my intention. I realized asking people to donate to a cause they never heard of or to a man who was an unknown was just too great a leap of faith for anyone. To put my own money and time where my mouth was closed the gap a tad. Regarding the question of accountability, there is not, to my knowledge, any watchdog group that monitors NGOs in Peru. That said, we are all answerable only to our own consciences and to those children that depend on us to be there for them everyday. I would submit that the evidence of our work and accomplishments would serve as the best measure of integrity and sincerity. Those who have visited with us and volunteered with us share our work back in their own countries happily.
Teamoperu's second concern is captured in his statement, "The suggestion that the kids of Huaraz communities are thieves, liars and con artists is insulting. Surely not all. So how exactly did Mr Killon filter out the good kids from the bad con artists and filter who could become “fine young men and women as they grow up”. How did he filter the theives from the non-theives or did assume all are theives? How did he filter out those who would or would not become fine young men and women if he didn't show up to help, or does he assume all would become bad men and women but for his help?"
I stated in my book that the children we worked with in the communities we chose were indeed little thieves and liars. No one suggested that the entire Huaraz populace under age 18 were such. When I created Changes for New Hope, it was to directly address problem children in the poorest of communities where I was sure to find the most challenging of issues. I was not disappointed, I found what I was looking for. Our core value, "Do the Right Thing" and an insistence that any children under our management would learn values, morals, respect for themselves and others and learn integrity, character building and related developments separated the "wheat from the chaff" so to speak. Those who were not interested, separated themselves. Do I assume that they would all have been lost had it not been for my arrival? No, but I submit that our project has made it infinitely easier for them to achieve that objective it that was a goal prior to our arrival. This was confirmed as well by the mayor of Huaraz at a community meeting in that barrio and he acknowledged and thanked me for our service there.
Teamoperu continues, " Do wind up lanterns really make a huge difference in making them into fine your men and women? Is traditional life of rising with the sun sleeping when the sun does really so bad – and does constantly winding up a lantern makes a huge difference? Not likely, just more of the assumption that northern technology is better. Just like northern toys are better (“recreational games and toys”). Kids can play with a tin can and stick for hours, are Lego toys really so much better? A northern-style swing set so much better than a hemp rope? Why do Americans think American stuff is better?"
The implementation of wind up lanterns have made a huge difference in adobe homes where there is no electricity. Childrens' first reaction upon receiving the first ones were "Now we can do our homework after dark". I originally got the idea after reading about an NGO in India that set up solar panels in the school so that children could study after dark. Education, as everyone is aware, is the single easiest, most cost effective solution to raise children out of poverty. Teamoperu's apparent oversight of such a well known fact is disturbing. Also, children have no inside bathrooms. At night they are scared to go outside so they wet the beds. Unsanitary conditions result. That is eliminated now. There are a dozen reasons why being able to see in the dark is a good idea. Equalling disturbing is Teamoperu's suggestion that legos and other toys from the north are superfluous and a "tin can and a stick" is sufficient. We have developed the creative thinking of all the children by providing 'thinking' toys and games. Building toys, puzzles, chess and checker sets and eye hand co-ordination toys have been so instrumental in the childrens' development that we have now determined to create a Toy/Game Library in Huaraz for the benefit of all children and also to bring them off the streets and give them challenging activities beyond the standard futball and volleyball.
Teamoperu, not taking a breath yet, continues, "OK, small points, it is just stuff after all, what harm can it do. The idea that “love and security that we provide for them as we teach them how to become fine young men and women as they grow up” seems more useful. But how is he providing them security by showing up once in a while? Yes, love and attention is key to growing up. But is he suggesting Huaraz children do not have love? My experience is that in Peru kids are loved, and almost spoiled, by not only parents but large extended family, grandparents, aunts, uncles. Most Peruvian kids I know do get love, lots of it. Is Huaraz somehow different? And is he really suggesting that him or volunteers showing up 4 time a year to give them such sincere love really makes a difference into making them fine young men and women?"
My response to his suggestion that we show up "Once in awhile" would be more accurate if he stated, "Every day except Sunday and then sometimes even then". As I stated above, we went into the areas of Huaraz that were the most desperate. Absent or abusive parents, there was evidence of widespread neglect. Children in their teens were taking care of younger siblings many years younger without oversight from family members of neighbors, for example. Granted most Peruvian families would put American family units to shame with their closeness and interaction. These stable families have not been my focus. They do not need to help of our NGO. To answer his question directly, yes, we feel that our ubiquitous presence in these areas have made a significant difference in the emotional well being of the children.
Leaving no stone unturned, Teamoperu continues,"OK, lets parse this. “Self esteem was virtually non existent among the children before our arrival” and “They lived in depression, abuse and neglect and they felt worthless.” Wow. How would he know about conditions before his arrival? Non-existent self-esteem and depression and neglect? Wow. This is not the Peru I know. What arrogant statements or is it just self-serving to say this? Come to think of it, I do not know a depressed or neglected child in Peru, do you? Poor yes, neglected no. I guess they must exist, how fortunate for Mr Killon that he was able to find entire communities near Huaraz full of them."
I am well informed about Peru prior to my arrival by the reams of reports that I have read, the hundreds of onsite interviews that I conducted and the evidence that I saw all around me after my arrival. If this is not the Peru that Teamoperu says he knows, then perhaps he should lift himself from his armchair that he is quarterbacking from and take a closer look outside of the evidently comfortable and affluent residential confines that he shares his points of view from. I trust that my responses are broadening the vision of anyone who has not seen nor experienced this part of Peru and this level of unfortunate folk. My statements are neither arrogant nor self serving as he suggests but personal observation which is why we have brought in the services of a clinical psychologist who has volunteered to help the situation. I found these "entire communities full of them" as he states, because I was looking specifically for them.
And yet he further avers, "
“The children have discovered a beautiful new person they never realized lived so close to them. It was their own new selves.” Really? Come on. And but for your gringo help they would never have found that truly wonderful person inside themselves. Not.
“As we mold the thinking of the children...” Wow. I am sure the parents really appreciate your molding their children for them, after all, they have shown they cannot. Afterall, without you their kids would be neglected and depressed. Let me tell you, some of the best parents and best kids I have met live in the Andes. The stories you are telling to promote yourself and get donations is an insult to these fine parents and fine kids I know."
My response to this seemingly more agitated and aggressive tort is one of simple explanation and clarification. If not for my gringo help...? If you were sick, could you get better without a doctor? Maybe, but it is much easier with help when it avails itself isn't it? In fact, we point the way, give the children a sense of direction, encouragement and the self esteem to advance themselves. We do not and can not carry anyone, load families with handouts, as you suggested, nor cripple the children with debility. Debility is inhibiting their own stimulated development but eliminating the need to do things for themselves on their own accord.
I take particular issue with the assertion that these accounts I share are in some way for self promotion purposes and to get donations. What we have done over the last 4 years at Changes for New Hope has been for the direct development and benefit of the children living in destitution and despair. It is a work of love and compassion that will continue and needs to continue whether we reach out to these little ones with reporters and cameras making documentaries of us as we go or we advance this project in complete obscurity. Donations may or may not arrive depending on a myriad of personal convictions of individuals. That is neither our focus nor our worry. We roll with what we have and do what we can, for as many as we can, for as long as we can.
I respect and appreciate your comments and opinions regardless of how far afield they are from reality. I trust that my responses have been useful in clarifying and enlightening you and anyone else who is, at the very least, curious about how an NGO makes this piece of the world a better place and at the most, causes you to forfeit your quadriplegic track coach mentality and join us or any other project of your choosing, to make a significant difference in the lives of the less fortunate as opposed to criticizing those whose lives are dedicated to a higher calling.
Live large, live deliberately,
Changes for New Hope
teamoperu wrote:On the Changes for New Hope web site, click on Supporters and it shows Expat Peru as a supporter
Alan, can I ask what is the support provided?
SAE is also listed so I could also ask them, what is the support provided to this NGO by SAE?
Thanks in advance.
Sergio Bernales wrote:Uh, why are there so many first-time posters here? This is beginning to look like propaganda.
Alan wrote:teamoperu wrote:On the Changes for New Hope web site, click on Supporters and it shows Expat Peru as a supporter
Alan, can I ask what is the support provided?
SAE is also listed so I could also ask them, what is the support provided to this NGO by SAE?
Thanks in advance.
I didn´t know that ExpatPeru was listed as a supporter, but I don´t mind. It probably stems from the fact that a couple years ago we were asked to run some pictures on our home main page (back when we had a slideshow feature) that had been taken at the Changes for New Hope facilities. I have never met Jim in person, but have tried to show moral support whenever he has written me.
That said, I agree with you and think that NGO´s (incluuding Jim´s) should aspire to have boards of directors and provide financial transparency to donors - but being realistic , this is something that can take time since the founders are also dealing with the day-to-day issues of advancing their cause.
To be fair, half of this country´s economy is informal because the regulations are onerous, and the institutions that oversee them are sometimes inefficient and maybe even corrupt. Formalizing can be an added expense and a huge draw on enthusiasm, and that goes for NGO´s too.
But yes, NGO's (and companies) should make every effort to formalize; they will likely find new and better access to financing, and will become institutions with the strength to outlast their founders.
Sonya M wrote:Team0peru why such hatred towards someone you don't know? I am fortunate enough to be able to share a different point of view of Jim, I knew him when I was a child. I saw him through the eyes of an 8 year old child. I was taught by him for many years spiritually when he was a pastor in the church that we both attended. I sat in a few of his sign language classes, bible studies, Sunday school classes and prayer meetings. I feel I'm qualified to say he is an upstanding person and an awesome teacher. Maybe you should meet him and go see how things are being done before you judge so harshly. I have known Jim for more than 35 years and I can't think of anyone more qualified in teaching and helping children and or adults than he is. Maybe you should put more of your efforts into helping someone in your community or abroad, your choice. Really the time you waste to write negativity about something positive and spew out such hateful things about someone you don't know, could be spent much more positively.
JimKillon wrote:Thank you kindly Gunvor for your post in a sincere effort to clarify and support our project. Unfortunately, our ranting friend here is not prepared to be confused with any facts regardless of its authentication. Preconceived ideas are the tattoo of the ignorant for just this reason.
He is a self styled hater named Daryl who is using what people post here on ExpatPeru, for fodder on his blogsite which is loaded with sarcasm, abuse and belligerence against expats. All expats. For example, he refers to this as ExConPeru on his semi-literate blogsite. While he bemoans Alan's efforts to moderate comments so as not to be too 'over the top', our self reflective naysayer here applaudes himself for having a blog which he banters an "Anything goes" format. If he had reams of documentation proving this or any other NGO or social project is in full complicity to the Nth degree, he is not prepared to step up to lift a finger to help the people of this country. It is not his actual concern. His only focus is to attempt to vilify and slander the efforts of anyone who does. Whatever answers offered in good faith, he ignores.
Need more proof? Watch this: While Daryl is pseudo-championing the cause of transparency, let's level the playing field shall we?
Daryl AKA Teamoperu, In the interest of transparency, which you seem to want to make your theme song, let’s level the playing field. Before anyone answers any more of your presumptuous questions you need to answer a few of mine. Let’s start with a name. Daryl what? What are your credentials? What is your primary and secondary interests in asking endless questions about myself or the project? Do you have a point or counterpoint to your endless inquiries? What qualifies you, aside from idle curiosity, fluff for your own blogsite or self serving ego enrichment, to address those doing humanitarian work in Peru with such disrespect, belligerence or sarcasm after they have been polite enough to respond to your queries? And here is the one we are all just dying to hear your answer to, while you are ever eager to bedamn and "verify" the qualifications of others, what have you done to better the lives of the Peruvian people? What are your contributions and efforts to enhance the people of this country, and please verify it with appropriate documentation. Answer those questions first. If I deem the responses worthy of further dialogue, then one may continue. If you choose not to respond to these questions properly, intelligently, well, you have shared with everyone exactly what you are and exactly what your ulterior motivations are as well. We have a saying in my country, “Tracer bullets work in both directions.” Once you are out in the open, we have a level playing field. Fair enough, I’d say.
Also, this just came to my attention a few days ago. Our ever angry friend Daryl here has bashed so many expats and others who help them, that there is an actual website devoted to attacking his slander, belligerence and unending arrogance. This site is setting the record straight about this guy and exposing him for what he is. The moderator apparently is quite up to the task of exposing and calling out this terminal adolescent. Clearly, Ol' Daryl doesn't like his own medicine being funneled down his own throat, as you will see. He is exposed as a deeply disturbed person seeking any attention he can garner, even if it is hatred towards him. He is considered a leech on the flanks of any thoroughbred racing to victory. A free rider in hopes that, with the success and victories that others have earned, he could somehow gain notoriety by ill associating himself. Sort of like an internet version of Mark David Chapman. You have my pity Daryl, my deepest sympathy.
Here is the website that Daryl wishes you wouldn't see:
https://darrylisyourfriendinperu.wordpr ... endinperu/
teamoperu wrote:Yessy was sitting on the stoop when Jim Killon arrived, news media in tow, cameras, flashes. Alone, her parents were working the finca in the sierras today. A shy little girl, so she only watched as people ran in excitement to kiss and hug him, welcomes and smiles all around, as he returned to the village once again. The cameras bright as Senor Jim dramatically opened the suitcases and benevolently graced the most aggressive with gifts and trinkets. He had to do it twice because the cameraman missed the first shot. She was excited too. She wore used hand-me-down clothes. Maybe this time Senor Jim would favour her, maybe he would pull a new dress out of the wondrous things from North America, a nice colourful dress, just her size, small. Maybe even he would wink at her, give her a kiss, a kind word, just like he does with the bigger girls. He is so tall, and rich, and generous, with celestial eyes. She was excited, but also a little scared. Last time Senor Jim arrived with a mountain of stuffed toys for many, but not for her, she was passed over. Maybe this time. But no, Senor Jim was too busy smiling and receiving accolades as the translator tried to give him the words for the interview, for the handshake with the mayor, for the photo op with the boy with the worn out shoes.
(Inspired by actual photos and videos)
GunvorPlatou wrote:I can say from personal experience that Changes for New Hope and Jim Killon make a true difference in the lives of the children he helps and their families. I volunteered with the organisation a year ago and even though I was only there for a fairly short time the families in the project welcomed me with open arms. There is reason why I write "families" and not "children". As I understand some of what teamoperu has written (correct me if I'm wrong), he thinks that Jim is trying to rescue the children from their families. This is not the case in my view. Instead the families are involved in the project. During my stay with Changes for New Hope I experienced the families’ involvement many times, for example: one of the mothers helped with the preparation of the traditional hot chocolate, and in one of the groups, when we finished the day's activities with the children, the parents invited us to stay and play volleyball with them and the children.
From my experience the families involved in the project are families that want to help themselves improve and give their children a better chance. The families who just wanted to take and take and take and not do anything to help themselves are not part of the project.
Apart from involving the parents and siblings of the families, Jim is also helped a lot by a local teacher named Charlie. Charlie teaches the older children and helps with other aspects of the organisation as well. So this is not a case of "a white man coming to save the World" but a project that has been integrated into the local community. Right before I left Jim started getting help from a local Peruvian girl - so it is not only volunteers from "first world" countries that are part of the organisation.
There are of course NGOs that are corrupt and don't help the people they claim to help - but to my knowledge Changes for New Hope is certainly not one of them!
Gunvor Platou, Denmark
teamoperu wrote:The bad news is that since it is not an NGO it does not have any independent auditing so it is possible your money went to pay for his Business class seats on his international flights.
tomsax wrote:teamoperu wrote:The bad news is that since it is not an NGO it does not have any independent auditing so it is possible your money went to pay for his Business class seats on his international flights.
My experience is that registered NGOs in Peru have very little auditing at all. This makes giving to local charities difficult but the best thing is to meet the people concerned and just make a personal judgement on people's honesty, integrity and motivation. The talk mentioned at the beginning of this thread would have been a great chance to meet the people concerned and make that sort of judgement. I commend SAE for giving space for that to happen.
Personally I wouldn't be that bothered if a local NGO was registered or not. Being registered just causes a hole lot of more costs diverting resources from people who really need it.
JimKillon wrote:Such abhorrence of foreign help, such as the aid afforded to the children by our project and other NGOs, is simply ignorance. It is this ignorance that would further inhibit the Peruvian children needing our help, and freeze them in time back to 1492. Peru is still a third world country. Belligerent and unqualified torts against those who are here to help the next generation of Peruvians only serves to show how desperately our help is needed. Such attitudes only serve to keep Peru in third world conditions.