As you may or may not know, I love Kiva. Kiva is an agency supporting people in developing countries by offering them interest free loans. You can join up with kiva by donating $25 and when it is paid back you can loan it to someone else. But this post is not about Kiva. It is about charity. I often wonder, as I just heard this interview on the radio about an agency now set up in Australia that is exactly the same as kiva, which is great, but I wonder why this agency just didn't become an arm of Kiva it seemed to be set up in exactly the same way?
How many charities and AID agencies are there in Australia? thousands? How much do the spend on administration in total? MILLIONS!
And this is where your aid money could be going:
Corporate involvement in aid
A major concern of Australia’s aid program is that it favours commercial interests in aid delivery. The commercialisation of aid often results in “Boomerang Aid”- aid which ends up funding private Australian companies, consultants, advisers and goods and services, bypassing those who need it the most and returning to Australia" from Aid watch. Obviously not ALL of it but the fact that companies are making money out of AID...where does it end?????? It makes me MAD! If you want to get yourself really fired up pop over to AIDWATCH
Ask questions about where your money is going!!
Which brings me to my second complaint. The Celebrity UN Ambassador. This pains me enormously. To see some celebrity earning millions swanning around a refugee camp to get some pictures with some poor children, before they jump back into their helicopter and fly to a resort for a few days - it is so offensive. I do not believe for one second that this educates the community about the plight of refugees? It doesn't at all. If that was the case surely we would be, as a society, a lot more compassionate. We wouldn't be arguing about asylum seekers, we would all be offering our spare rooms for families to come and stay. We wouldn't be sending people who have been tortured and traumatised off to a prison locked away with no idea of when and if they will ever see there families again, or when and if they will ever be allowed to enter Australia.
However, seeing some celebrity give a donation, like setting up a school in a developing country also pains me ( I know, you just can't win with me). Why do they have to always put themselves in the story. Why can't they investigate what charities are really doing some great work and give money to them.
Chef argues with me about this all the time - his point being, "but they don't have to do anything, so anything is good." and I agree with that, but if many celebrities gave half of what they get for making a movie over a few months maybe we would see some real changes.... I mean honestly who needs $20million for a few months work? Personally I find it obscene. How much money do they actually need?
I have a lenders team on kiva- crafty bloggers, if you would like to join, we would love to have you.