We've made it.
After more than 3 years of looking for someone who has the courage to lend us the money to start our own, profitable business we found a group of people who trust us, who have seen what we have done in the past for Africa. As an NGO, we have initiated projects in Senegal and Cameroon, and even after 2008 we never had the idea to give up.
We had to realize that most people don't understand the mixing of NGO and profitable activities. Either that or the other, although I always told them you can't do non-profit stuff when you don't have a profitable company associated which can support those projects.
Today I received a call that we are getting the required US$ 5'000 which allows us to start. And we will. You see, in the US it would probably have been easier than here in Switzerland to get even such a small sum (some told us, hey, you should have asked for 50'000, 5'000 seems not serious....but why should I ask for more than what's needed ? Gotta pay it back, right ?). I always said when there's one thing I like about the US it's their readiness for risk. Here, you can have n arguments and it doesn't work...
But, to all people here, like George or others who seem to have a hard time - NEVER give up. It will come up eventually, and when you fought for it so hard and long, you're wise enough not to waste what you finally got.
And my invitation to Senegal stands. Until end of the year you'd have to pay your stay, but it would be minimal cost. You'll need no hotel. We're a BIG family :-)
BTW; US$ 5'000 seems not much. But a) for a person on the dole to get that - pretty difficult, and for a guy who's 59 even more difficult because b) They ask: 59 and you don't have that small amount ? They never seemed to consider that I spent more than US$ 200'000 of my own money in my NGO projects since 2001. But it's exactly that which pays off now when I'm back there. People haven't forgotten that in Africa, as I found out.