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Confession

January 22, 2010

I haven’t donated to Haiti.  Not a single cent.

I’ve become completely disillusioned about charitable donations and humanitarian relief efforts.  It all started a couple of years ago.  We used to sponsor four children through Foster Parents Plan (now called Plan Canada).  After at least 5 years of sponsoring a girl in Togo, the water in her community became worse.  How does that happen?  The Plan had been operating in her community for years and yet the water became unsafe for human consumption.  I called and wrote and asked questions but I received no answer.  That triggered our withdrawal of support from Foster Parents Plan.

We’ve turned a majority of our family charitable giving to local organizations where we know exactly how the money is used.

Which brings me to Haiti.  From everything that I’ve read, the two words which best describe Haiti are “corrupt” and “dysfunctional”.  Haiti is one of the most corrupt countries in the world.   Foreign adoptions, which some are trying to get fast-tracked, are tainted by corruption.  As Mark Steyn points out, “Even by the standards of Third World dysfunction, what country is such a basket case that it needs outside help to set up a goat farm?”  Plan Canada swiftly sent out an appeal for donations (arriving mere days after the earthquake) and they proudly stated that they’ve been working in Haiti since 1973.  To what end?  What have they accomplished to this point?

I can’t help but feel that sending money to Haiti will only fuel the corruption.  Perhaps this would be mitigated in the short term by international aid agencies which distribute supplies directly to those in need but how many bribes must be paid and how much of the aid is stolen?  Even the mission group from BC had $10,000 stolen within hours of their arrival.  If you are sending or taking cash to Haiti, you might as well just burn it.

Oops.  I almost forgot.  Even a charity started by a Haitian, Wyclef Jean, is tainted by corruption.  Think about that while watching him on George Clooney’s television appeal tonight.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Fritz permalink
    January 23, 2010 3:33 pm

    My thoughts exactly. I watched on the news people from the parts of the island where the earthquake left untouched..selling food, water, clothing…the things everyone is begging for. They are screwing their own citizens over to make a buck while the rest of the planet is getting blamed for not caring.

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