Its not the thought that counts

Posted: November 29, 2010 by brfrese in Africa, Charity, Donations, Independence, Uncategorized

I recently found an article from TIME Magazine called “Bad Charity,” and I thought I would share it with you all.

You can check out the full article here — it is really very insightful into our conceptions of charity work.

From Time Magazine

The article talks about a young man, Jason Sadler, who wanted to help out in Africa with a charity designed to donate T-shirts to Africa. He was, understandably so, surprised when he received harsh criticism from bloggers and anti-charity activists. He received this response for a few reasons:

1. T-shirts are not hard to get in Africa — an influx of free shirts to the market would bankrupt small entrepreneurs and those who vend shirts for a living.

2. The money spent shipping the shirts and supplies could better be used providing the impoverished areas with food and medical supplies they do not have.

One of his opponents was James Shikwati, a member of a Nairobi-based Inter Region Economic Think Tank, who found it ironic that after the second hand expansion of clothing into small towns shut down their textile industries, people who be interested in providing free shirts to the area.

He received additional criticism from a blogger who goes by the pseudonym “Tales from the Hood,” saying no level of rational debate seems to make an impact — sometimes people need to be yelled at for their charity because it isn’t making a difference.

He is, however, cooperating with his opponents and planning to readjust his charity model by donating shirts to orphanages who request them and to widows who can sell the shirts for profit. Sadler currently works with the founder of WaterIsLife.com, Ken Surritte, on his philanthropy efforts.

It is this kind of philanthropy we all assume is helping countries in other continents, but may actually be detrimental to their economic systems and ways of life. I want to know how you all feel about the way we look at charity and if we think it is always a good idea to get involved…even if we might be misinformed. Answer below!

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