Father Ed's Blog

A Catholic priest reflects…

We need to re-think charitable endeavour

In the wake of a monstrous scandal at Oxfam I again urge people to watch Poverty Inc. it is time to re-think our attitude to donating to large corporate charitable organisations. Far too many are run for profit first and have become part of the problem not the cure.  When your own eye watering salaries and investments rely on poverty it hardly motivates you to eradicating it and, instead, you tend towards an approach of ever sticking plasters on the problem instead of rooting out the real causes. When charity turns into a profitable business it is bad news for the poor.

What we need do is lobby and fight hard at governmental level to create fair and level playing fields in the third world. We need to encourage entrepreneurs to establish themselves o the ground and create long term jobs and prospects within those communities to provide salaries, tax revenue and hope for the future. We need to abolish restrictive legislation that makes it impossible for the little man to compete with corporations. We need to admit that the rich nations wilfully keep the poor nations down. We need to direct almsgiving to small charities on the ground that can show they are tackling the problem of poverty and not contributing to it.

Last month there was an outcry, rightly so, when seedy businessmen held a charitable event at which young ladies, often willingly it must be said, were employed and used as little more than objects for titillation. There has also been scandal in hollywood where young people have been subjected to abuse. Why has there not been a huge outcry at the news that Oxfam workers used the people they were meant to care for as prostitutes? I think it is far more monstrous- for those poor women were hungry, frightened and in desperate need whilst the men who used them were holding all the aces. It is time we stopped backing unethical charitable businesses in which the benefit to the poor is hard to discern.

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1 Comment

  1. Patrick fahey

    Well said Fr Ed,

    Anything that is attached or funded by or through government has to be tainted by definition. One of the reasons I gift aid every donation I make is not only to benefit the charity but to take money out of the evil hands of the state.

    God bless,


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