Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Church restoration and healing the sick

Source: BBC

This disturbs me. The BBC reported today that
The Heritage Lottery Fund is celebrating 12 years of funding for religious buildings and monuments, which has seen an investment of £392m restore more than 2,600 places.
Let me get that straight... £392,000,000 (approx $775,700,000) (to restore churches / religious buildings / monuments etc.

In fact, the 18th-century organ (pictured above) of St Botolph's Church in London was restored to historical accuracy, with a £261,000 ($516,400) grant. Sorry... could you say that again..? £261,000!

According to HopeHIV, this is what it costs to make a difference in Africa:
* £10 can buy a month's meals for an extended orphan family or school fees for 1 month
* £25 can pay for a business training course for an older orphan
* £40 covers training and support for one foster parent or 1 year's supply of clothes for a South African orphan
* £60 allows a child to go on a 5 day Botswana Kids' Camp offering adventure activities, bereavement counselling, group work and psycho-social support
* £80 pays 1 month's salary for a teacher in Uganda
* £120 pays 1 month's salary for a counsellor or full training of a foster parent to earn an extra income
* £180 will pay for vocational training for an older orphan (e.g. tailoring, mechanics, dressmaking, farming, electrician, hairdressing) and set them up in business
* £600 covers a community parent's salary for a year
* £1200 pays for a children's nurse in a refugee camp in Uganda for a year
Let me put this into context please... £261,000 (the cost of restoring the organ) would provide:
* 26,100 orphan families with a meal for a month or school fees - or
* 10,440 orphans could attend a business training course - or
* 6,525 foster parents could receive training and support - or 6,525 orphans could have clothes for a year - or
* 4,350 children could go on a 5 day Botswana Kids' Camp - or
* 271 teachers in Uganda for 1 year - or
* 181 counsellors for a year - or the full training of 2,175 foster parents to earn an extra income - or
* 1,450 orphans could receive vocational training (e.g. tailoring, mechanics, dressmaking, farming, electrician, hairdressing) and set them up in business - or
* 435 community parents for 1 year - or
* 217 children's nurse in a refugee camp in Uganda for a year
This disturbs me. How can we be taken seriously as salt and light if we spend money on nonsense like this? I don't know the cost of anti-viral drugs... but think how many people could be helped with this kind of money.

What is wrong with this picture? Do we care more about 18th century crap than kids in Africa?

Think about it... and act as your conscience directs.


Jody said...

maybe you'll want to read this:

Or maybe you won't.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking of Copying your HopeHIV summarisation into an email to each of the people on this page http://www.stbotolphs.org.uk/contact.php

Unknown said...

wel, my favourite quote-

"jesus said you have to sell all you own and give the money to the poor, but thats the great thing about highlighters, you can highlight what you like and ignore the rest."

Anonymous said...

You have a point, Thomas, although I suppose it is Lottery funding.

On a similar theme is the disturbing news about the thousands of millions to replace Trident by 2024. Awesome weapons of mass destruction which hopefully will never be used but whose cost would eradicate a lot of poverty in Africa, for example.


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