Sunday, April 20, 2008

Save the Children

I wonder if there is a Web2.0-style 'Save the Children' campaign?

So, we know all about those creepy tv commercials where some child-molesting church leader gets on tv and pleads for our money - then they zoom in on some bloated, dying African child who has flies all over their face - and then the child-molesting church leader says, "Please.....little Jonah needs your money now or else he'll suffer a brutal death than you can possibly imagine". We now know that these churches spend the money on their fancy cars and private jets and their private hookers and cocaine habits, so most of us don't pay attention to those ads anymore.

My question is, do we have any legitimate organizations that can do this 'sponsor a child' stuff, now? New, non-church-based organizations that aren't led by criminals and child molesters?

There are lots of companies out there now doing 'social giving' stuff, and they're certainly more transparent than any of these criminal church organizations ever were. So maybe it's time we can look at this again?

I'm all for giving money to 'social entrepreneurs' to build water irrigation projects and all that, but sometimes it can be helpful to think of helping one child.

But, thinking about it a bit more, now - it may just be a bit too anti-human to give money to just one child. So, maybe that idea does deserve to go away.

The potential transparency of giving today, with feedback from the people who are actually using the money, is definitely a good thing.

One thing I'd like to see more of, is helping people right here in America - in particular, African Americans. So that's one part. The other part is picking the right kinds of projects, the right kind of help. If you watch some TED talks on aid to Africa, you'll see how destructive aid can be. We have to be smart about it.

1 comment:

Kakariki said...

kiva.org is pretty good. You can chose who to help out with a micro loan and depending on the agency managing it, you can get pretty good progress reports. And the interest on money being paid back supports the agencies with programs on literacy and health etc. Plus it's a loan, so when they've finished paying it back, you can find someone else to help out.

Heaps better than flicking your coin at some wanna be missionary.