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Ashoka searches for the person local to the situation who ALREADY has a solution, but needs assistance implementing it.

Ashoka doesn't focus on a single type of problem because no region, and no group of people are exactly the same. Each will have specific needs, and priorities, and Ashoka allows that decision to be left up to someone who is <affected by the problem> and who will be <helped by the solution>.

Dickens, exactly! :-) I agree wholeheartedly. It makes me think of something I read some time ago about a current grassroots political-environmental movement among women in India, which was apparently started as a result of the backlash of governmental and international attempts to "help" people there and ended up wreaking massive havoc and destabilization (note, I was reading a very biased story about the situation, but that was the sense I came away from it).

In essence, I also admire attempts in which the aid is actively conceived, implemented, and maintained by the people who stand to live with (benefit from) the desired goal of the charitable efforts. My only concern is that these organizations must be scrupulously monitored to make sure there isn't any siphoning of funds and that it goes to the fulfillment of the intended and stated goals.

* * * * * * * *
Side issue: about six months ago I heard about a man in Nepal (Mr. Babu Chhiri Sherpa) who wanted to raise $25,000 to open a school in his isolated, rural, poor village; he had broken several separate world records for climbing Mt. Everest and hoped to use the publicity to do so; I heard about his achievements and goals through the media. I actually contacted the person and the U.S. contact, but because of lack of any clear legal or accounting systems in place to handle it, I reluctantly discontinued my attempts to contribute.

While trying to do some verification on how and what, I did find a few other Nepalese organizations dealing with similar issues, but in different regions, at:
"Donations and Contributions for Education in Nepal."

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