Friday, September 7, 2012

Four Pillars

Just came back from the Holy Mass at Sisters' convent. After breakfast, I asked the local superior to sign the contract drawn between Ad Gentes agency of Polish Episcopal Conference and Blessed John Paul II Center for Education and Formation, on behalf of the Center. When I was in Poland in April this year, I went to Ad Gentes office in Warsaw and applied for funding for breakfasts for students of our pre-school and primary school for the period of two years, plus funds for salaries of two workers (a cook and a janitor) for two years as well...

I was happy to get email in July that the application was accepted and Ad Gentes donated PLN 20,000 for the project. This yielded $6,000 after exchanging Polish currency to US dollars. Then I went to change the half of the money to the bureau de change in Musoma and got Tanzanian shillings 4,710,000/=. This is the amount of money which will cover food and salaries for one year including the donation for food on graduation day in the school. The second installment for the same purposes will be provided to the school next year.

But, to my surprise, I noticed that sister did not show outright happiness and gratitude for this wonderful gift which will massively ease pressure on the budget of the school as I am campaigning all the time for the lowest possible school fees for our parents, to allow children from Kiabakari, and not rich kids from cities, to get quality education in our pre-school and primary school.

I invested personally a lot of time and efforts to secure this fantastic donation and Ad Gentes were themselves very generous to provide the funding! And the sister did not have to do anything to have this money on the table in front of her. But she looked like she did not care much and was somehow uneasy to sign a contract and a payment voucher that she received the money today. It put me off a bit, to be honest.

I want my financial matters to be as clear and transparent as possible and to make all my benefactors as happy and pleased as possible. That is why I don't conduct my financial operations on the basis of handshake only. Contracts, receipts, payment vouchers, financial reports, photo proofs are absolutely necessary. I am here to stay, I cannot allow myself for black PR.

Certainly, this lack of gratitude on the part of the sister will hurt my level of enthusiasm in the future. After all, how can you bother to continue running all over the world looking for support for someone who does not even bother to show appreciation and say 'thank you' for help given?
Geez, we are talking here not about some difficult issues, but about one of the four basic pillars of good manners we are taught at home (hopefully), four important words in human relations. Please, thank you, I'm sorry and congratulations.

Too bad, one of these four important words was missing this morning. 

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