I sit at the screen and have a drink of beer contemplating what I shall have for dinner
and I can't help but think of those humans that haven't even shelter let alone a beer fridge a car a computer etc etc
So what you say and figure that you should bail now before I start telling you that we should open our borders wide and let those people come into our country or your country to get a better deal in life.
I am not writing to do that as I do not feel it is a viable economic solution. I feel we need to invest wisely in the third world but not so much by migration but through mitigation.
I am sensitive to the plight of others in places that make Canada look so good and it is that which keeps me very grateful to be born here and be white. I do truly understand how privileged I am by the virtue of those two facts and the third privilege is that I have a penis! I am missing fortune and fame but it is after all the western civilization where anything is possible! The best of these things and easiest to self attain by a person in another part of the world is immigration to a better world.
I am not against immigration but wholesale immigration is fool hardy.
That's one of those issues for another day but it relates to this post as it's about giving to the non-profits in our lives. Not so much our giving but their spending and the increase in the number of Non government organizations in general and the international ngo's specifically.
It is sometimes hard to constantly have organizations and foundations of every type asking for money.
For your...our money.
If you are a parent then first on the list of charities which seem to permeate our society would be the school your child attends then as you go through your day they
out at you.
There are groups to
save the children
save the whales,
sharks and other creatures.
Save the natural area
the ancient ruin.
These charities want our time
they ask for our blood
they'll take most of our body parts,
and almost always
There are societies who focus on physical maladies
they give shelter to the poor
food for the hungry
teach our young to always be prepared
influence your vote
even entertain the masses.
But the bulk of these are local charities or domestic non profits and because of a broad definition they are for the most part considered Non Governmental Organizations it's thought that there are 10 million of them globally.
The term NGO was coined at the United Nations back in the 40's and the definition then as now is an organization who is non governmental and is a non profit.
The domestic NGO's are getting a relatively small piece of the money pie and their activities are local but even these "local" charities sometimes are involved in international aid.
This leads me to comment that as I have been researching this post I've found a very tangled web of organizations and money and also the amount of aid/charity money that is moved started to go beyond my comprehension.
The short answer to the question of how many dollars are given to charities world wide would be that it is impossible to get it to the penny but there are a few sites on the web that have info
This site has some stats to give you an idea as to how much money is being moved .
The International NGO is the same as any other except it works world wide or primarily outside of it's home country. It is estimated that there are 40,000 INGO's and that number is growing. The number of people and the amounts of money talked about in research on these entities is huge.
The Reality is that
The west really ignored a
lot of what was going on in Africa and this has lead to an on going need for real help in the big ticket items like infrastructure, social programs and in turn spreading democratic ideals rather than perpetuating tribal ideals by supporting monarchies and dictatorships the flotsam left by the colonial conquest a century before. The story is repeated around the globe in several hundred countries and I am not saying that the west should have handed out infrastructure but they could have had the best interest of Africans in the fore front of the dealings with the people of this massive continent.
With few exceptions the governments of the world spend more on defense than on the needs of the population with the poor of the poorest countries having
literally nothing in the way of social support. The more despotic a political culture the more you must spend on keeping everyone in line.
Back to the question
With so many doing so much why does it seem that so little is getting done?
First of all
A lot is being done by agencies both International and domestic but at the same time there seems to be some places in the world that are just
So yes a few countries, Haiti comes to mind immediately, have had a combination of shit governance, natural disasters or war that have destroyed what little they had.
Waste is one big factor and not just the blatant waste but the ongoing waste in the implementation of programs that are not of any real value. Short term relief plans, confused goals and flawed delivery systems that fail heroic endeavors!
nepotistic village leaders,
crappy sociopolitical overview,
shady business people,
native stakeholders stuck in survival mode and some NGO's themselves!
Check out this story about one of the largest NGO's in the poorest country of the western hemisphere!From Propublica:
The little organizations can be just as ridiculous or even notorious.
you start to see why this can sometimes be a frustrating business to be involved in when you honestly want to do some good without a paycheck.
My very close friend Laura Allen has been on the ground operating Shelters International Disaster Response for many years in a few different countries and she said the High of seeing an affected person smile because of your effort is worth all of the tears spent to get to that point.
That is what drives most who go to third world countries and try to empower the poorest people on the planet but International non government organizations are increasingly becoming the subject of scandal
lack of control
the lack of transparency
the lack of accountability.
This is born from the passive nature of the NGO's donors and that most INGO's are operating in countries who do not have the resources to police every project especially in a disaster situation and the number of INGO's has exploded. I am not talking about the big players here as they are under scrutiny at all times but the smaller NGO's.
an article about the proliferation of INGO's
That explosion has produced some incredible organizations most of whom are small, focused with long term plans for the areas they work in but the bulk of the cash goes to the big players and that is not working so well in some areas of the world.
I think the delivery systems have to change and become decentralized to accomplish this we as donors should look at more grassroots oriented organizations.
This has been happening for the last dozen years and the trend is growing and this is one of the reasons there are so many INGO's!
Look for the small player who is focused on an area, has a history and heart. So many of these tiny operations work with hardly any budget. Yet these same entities make a fair portion of the relief and repair possible and they are very flexible through being on the ground in affected areas.
So part two of this will be a look at this grassroot phenomenon. In no way do I say I have thoroughly researched my material as with most of my writing this is more a collection of thoughts with some facts as inspiration.