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Trick or trade

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Trick or trade

Post  katertaif on Mon 31 Mar - 23:08

This government is constantly looking to cut spending. Often I believe in the wrong areas but that is only my opinion. One aspect that is not cut and indeed increases is foreign aid particularly in Africa. This while home based charities are suffering.

Billions upon billions have been poured into various African countries and billions more are already earmarked. what good are they doing? For example we have been exhorted to donate to help supply potable water for decades. I don't want to sound flip, but they should all have their own well at the bottom of their well tended gardens by now, but they don't. The question why must be asked.

I believe it is because of the never ending tribal/religious conflicts. I put them together because they almost always break down to a non Muslim tribe fighting with a Muslim one. Even when religion is not a factor, the different tribes hate each other and will go to war at the drop of a hat.

The first thing the rebels do is poison the wells, usually by slaughtering cattle and or people, and throwing the carcasses into the water. By the same token cattle are killed for other purposes and grain/millet fields burned. The population is terrified by killing and raping. Is there a point to any of this? I believe there is, apart that is from the billions already spent by the charities going up in smoke.

By creating the climate of fear, refugees are forced to undertake treks of sometimes over a hundred miles to refugee camps. this suits both rebel and government forces. The genuine refugees are now conveniently grouped so that the charities can operate more effectively. This also provides a screen for combatants as well, to take a little R and R when they get a bit tired they can rest up before returning to the fighting. Both sides can also levy taxes for their war chests on materiel brought in, much of it medical and emergency food aid. Apart from taxing it they can loot some of it for themselves. its all nice and handy in a well run charity operated camp, with perhaps a dozen or even more charities to pick from.

This is where I think the problem lies. There is no incentive to stop the fighting, and every incentive to keep it going. So we donate again and again to build the well that was built and destroyed at least once already. In effect, and from the best and most noble of motives - compassion, we are subsidising the Killing and terror.

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Re: Trick or trade

Post  Panda on Wed 2 Apr - 17:21

Hi katertaif, I have been donating monthly for several years by D/D to Wateraid after watching the heartbreaking spectacle of a baby looking very malnourished with nothing to drink. I assumed there was a permanent Charity , like Save the Children , whose responsibility is to provide clean water, and build Wells. Unlike most charities who insist on sending you monthly literature, adding to the expense of running the charity, Wateraid have never written to me so if you think they might be suspect let me know.

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Re: Trick or trade

Post  malena stool on Wed 2 Apr - 20:01

katertaif wrote:This government is constantly looking to cut spending. Often I believe in the wrong areas but that is only my opinion. One aspect that is not cut and indeed increases is foreign aid particularly in Africa. This while home based charities are suffering.

Billions upon billions have been poured into various African countries and billions more are already earmarked. what good are they doing? For example we have been exhorted to donate to help supply potable water for decades. I don't want to sound flip, but they should all have their own well at the bottom of their well tended gardens by now, but they don't. The question why must be asked.

I believe it is because of the never ending tribal/religious conflicts. I put them together because they almost always break down to a non Muslim tribe fighting with a Muslim one. Even when religion is not a factor, the different tribes hate each other and will go to war at the drop of a hat.

The first thing the rebels do is poison the wells, usually by slaughtering cattle and or people, and throwing the carcasses into the water. By the same token cattle are killed for other purposes and grain/millet fields burned. The population is terrified by killing and raping. Is there a point to any of this? I believe there is, apart that is from the billions already spent by the charities going up in smoke.

By creating the climate of fear, refugees are forced to undertake treks of sometimes over a hundred miles to refugee camps. this suits both rebel and government forces. The genuine refugees are now conveniently grouped so that the charities can operate more effectively. This also provides a screen for combatants as well, to take a little R and R when they get a bit tired they can rest up before returning to the fighting. Both sides can also levy taxes for their war chests on materiel brought in, much of it medical and emergency food aid. Apart from taxing it they can loot some of it for themselves. its all nice and handy in a well run charity operated camp, with perhaps a dozen or even more charities to pick from.

This is where I think the problem lies. There is no incentive to stop the fighting, and every incentive to keep it going. So we donate again and again to build the well that was built and destroyed at least once already. In effect, and from the best and most noble of motives - compassion, we are subsidising the Killing and terror.

Good point katertaif.
To throw money at any problem unchecked and unmonitored will never ensure that the problem will be eradicated. This is true whether donating to a charity at home or abroad. Who is monitoring where the donation goes and how it is spent?... And more importantly, who who is monitoring the monitors?

Here at home we see CEOs of charities being paid £100,000 and more oftem than not being paid many times more.

The most obscene payment, in my opinion anyway is that paid to the individual, believed to be Chief Executive of Save the Children, Jasmine Whitbread who is paid £234,000. What special skills and knowledge does this woman possess that justifies such a salary?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2550648/Fury-234-000-salary-boss-Save-Children-Charity-chiefs-huge-wages-reined-say-MPs.html

If this abomination is happening here in the UK, where our elected governments could and should monitor who is being paid what out of public donations. What is happening to donations on on a continent 5000 miles away and how much the true beneficiaries are seeing out of the charitable donations is anyones guess.

In the past if we reduced or withdrew our troops and/or financial support for the needy of any nation our leaders were afraid that communists would move in and win the 'hearts and minds' of the population... Nowadays it is perhaps not the take over by communists that is their worry, but Muslim terrorists or similar that they they see as a threat.

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Trick or trade

Post  katertaif on Wed 2 Apr - 20:32

Well put malena stool

The amounts of money paid (I won't say earned) to the CEO's of these organisations, together with the cost of overheads generally means that the people who need the money only get a percentage of it, and sometimes a small percentage at that.

My main thrust though was that we are donating money for the charities to use for the same things over and over again. Every time there is a flare up in the fighting be it Sudan, or South Sudan, Eritrea Gabon. The central African Republic, or wherever. The good work already done by the charities is undone by the warring factions, for the reasons I gave.

That means when the fighting stops, new wells have to be dug all over again, free from the toxic carcasses thrown in the old ones. The fields have to be tended all over again ensuring that it will be at least another 6 months before wheat can be made into bread for example. It's a tried and tested scheme for the leaders of these countries, who are well aware that the west is a bottomless pit of donations. Many times we are treated to harrowing scenes of starving children, while both rebel and government forces fight over whatever they disagree about this time.

What is the actuality of that? The starving children who survive today will, in 10 -15 years be the new rebels with the AK 47 in their hands. We will again be treated to harrowing scenes of starving children, who will in 10 - 15 years again become the rebels with an AK 47 in their hands, and that will go on as long as we are prepared to let it. In the Africa of today you can buy an AK 47 with no questions asked for as little as $5 US or whatever that amount will buy. The more modern version the AKM 74 costing only a little more.

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Re: Trick or trade

Post  malena stool on Wed 2 Apr - 21:50

Evening katertaif,
I follow your logic with never ending murders, armed conflicts and ease of availability of weapons to malcontents, terrorists or simply an oppressed people.

Other than beefing up our armed services and taking up the world image of Britain 'sending out a gunboat' to what used to be our areas of influence, and other old colonial powers and the US doing the same, or better still the UN taking sides and putting down rebellions against elected governments or incursions into sovereign states by terror groups I don't think we will ever see an end to civilian populations in Africa needing western help in some form or another.

Western culture and generosity may win the hearts and minds of the ordinary folk, but they fear the war lords on their door step more than they respect the good will and intentions of the west.

I don't know enough of their history, but I would think the war lords are doing what the old 'tribal leaders' did in the past when creating boy soldiers, only nowadays they give them semi-automatic weapons instead of spears and knobkerries.

Certainly it is a world problem and shouldn't be left to single countries to try and correct. Like the Somali pirates a concerted international effort should be initiated to bring a full and permanment stop to their actions by whatever means necessary. Africa for its size, rich soils and weather has the potential to feed the world, instead of being a drain on the world's economy.

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Trick or trade

Post  katertaif on Thu 3 Apr - 9:57

Good morning malena stool

I believe very very few groups or tribes in Africa come under the heading of oppressed people in this day and age. If only from th historical standpoint where they have been oppressed for several hundred years now.

What it comes down to in the vast majority of cases is "We want their beer and pickles and that" The government has something the rebels want. The group warlord gathers about him sufficient numbers of fighters to accomplish the aim of taking it off the establishment, and awarding it to themselves. Assuming they succeed in this, the erstwhile establishment become the rebels, and the cycle is set to repeat itself.

No I don't advocate gunboat diplomacy at least not from the West. The OAU has enough military resources between them. Let's be perfectly honest Malena stool. European expansionism in Africa wasn't all it was cracked up to be by any stretch of the imagination. By and large though I believe it was a force for good. Most African countries are worse off, and the people are generally poorer since Independence. That is the crux of the matter. They wanted independence they believed they could run things as well if not better themselves than under colonial rule. Look at what in most cases (not all, there are a very few success stories) is a mess of corruption, greed, and waste.

Then it becomes the same old story when the s*&% hits the fan, come and help us out.

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Re: Trick or trade

Post  malena stool on Thu 3 Apr - 10:24

Morning katertaif,
You are right, there is no real answer other than for the African Nations to involve themselves in sorting out what is after all more their responsibility than the western world. The problem is perhaps they are making a handsome living themselves from the constant fighting of their neighbours. Another problem, one which has world wide effects is the ingress of China and its satellite states into Africa and its vast almost untapped mineral and oil reserves.

One of the problems also is the old colonial powers ourselves included, failed in ensuring that full education was enjoyed by the masses. Many of the tribal cultures in these constantly warring states remain firmly locked in the past, with little or no genuine education or facilities available, except for the families of those in power.

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Trick or trade

Post  katertaif on Thu 3 Apr - 11:31

Panda wrote:Hi katertaif, I have been donating monthly for several years  by D/D to Wateraid after  watching the heartbreaking spectacle of a baby looking very malnourished with nothing to drink. I assumed there was a permanent Charity , like Save the Children , whose responsibility is to provide clean water, and build Wells. Unlike most charities who insist on sending you monthly literature, adding to the expense of running the charity, Wateraid have never written to me so if you think they might be suspect let me know.

Good morning Panda

no I have no information on them that in any way suggests them to be other than completely legitimate. They are (I assume) acting out of the highest motives. My point is that the never ending internecine wars negate almost completely the good work the charities do.

I thoroughly recommend a book by a  Linda Polman. The book is called War Games. It is well researched, and shows the true scale of the sheer waste of money in paying for say a well to be dug several times, because all previous wells have been made poisonous. How the photographers go out of their way to film the starving little children. This tugs on the heart strings and makes us give more. How children can be supplied for the purpose if none are immediately available. Its a real eye opener, and shows even the charities are not above shall we say maximising the donations by fair means or foul. Of course they all have to have Land Cruisers, semi permanent buildings with A/C, and computer terminals, not to mention an airstrip so that supplies can be brought in without fuss. All costing colossal amounts of money before the people who are suffering see a penny.

I do not advocate any armed response from the West but I would seriously suggest that having gained independence from the colonial powers they start learning to be independent. The Much vaunted OAU doesn't seem to come to the fore very often. Even in Mali they didn't take the lead from France, but were quite happy to "offer assistance"

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Re: Trick or trade

Post  Panda on Thu 3 Apr - 12:37

Thanks katertaif, we know there are Charities where the Management earn a lot of money , there was a scandal not so long ago about one of the Bosses earning a six figure Charity .

I posted a topic this morning on the Syria thread, it's about the refugees and how they are starving , what has happened to the money donated by the World? It's pitiful to watch.

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Trick or trade

Post  katertaif on Thu 3 Apr - 13:40

Good Morning Panda

Yes, I know what you mean. Some years ago, 1976 to be exact, I was looking through the sits. vac. pages of the Northern Echo. A well known high street charity were advertising for a regional co-ordinator the job paid £26,000 + a company car which was described as prestigious, so I assume we were talking Jaguar, BMW, somewhere round there.

The successful candidate it goes without saying would have a fully equipped office with secretaries, etc all with salaries. So the initial overheads would have been well into 6 figures, and the yearly costs, about the same.

That was as I say 1976, you can work out for yourself what that would be in today's terms. All before the needy saw a penny piece. The charity concerned has always had one of the highest costs in the business, sometimes going over 90%, yet those who work in the high street shops are unpaid volunteers. If they weren't, the overheads would be the full ton. As it is if you want the needy to have £1, you have to give £10.

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Re: Trick or trade

Post  Panda on Thu 3 Apr - 14:00

I dropped the Marie Curie donations when they kept sending me raffle books to sell tickets for them . I returned them with a note saying don't send them again and cancelling my donation, I also sold Daffodils for them on Rugby Six Nations days, in the Winter when it was cold.!!!!

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Re: Trick or trade

Post  malena stool on Thu 3 Apr - 15:53

Hi Panda,
Call me a meany, but I only give to the Sallys and the RBL... As I see it, the rest are run purely as money making schemes to keep the chairmen/women in luxury.

Slightly off topic I know,
When institutions such as; NSPCC, The Childrens Society and Action for Children publicly denounce the McCanns for the self confessed child neglectors that they are, I might consider including them on my 'Donations' list.
Grumble over... ms.

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Re: Trick or trade

Post  kitti on Thu 3 Apr - 20:30

When I give which I have done in the past, it's 'food' I send to an animal sanctuary which you can purchase through amazon.



I would never send money as I know that out off £5 sent.....less than £1 goes where it should go.

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Re: Trick or trade

Post  malena stool on Thu 3 Apr - 20:42

Good idea kitti.  

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Re: Trick or trade

Post  fuzeta on Thu 3 Apr - 21:35

When my Mother was ill and housebound I wanted her to have someone different from ourselves to chat to. I called a well known charity, one that is especially for elderly people. I knew that they could organise a person to come and chat to my Mother for an hour, they had people that do this. Then they told me it would be £25! So what is all the money taken at their shops for? They are donated the goods to sell, they have volunteers selling it, they don't have to pay tax as far as I know. I don't think they pay rates for the shops. So can anyone please tell me what the money they make is used for?

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trick or trade

Post  katertaif on Thu 3 Apr - 21:51

kitti wrote:When I give which I have done in the past, it's 'food' I send to an animal sanctuary which you can purchase through amazon.



I would never send money as I know that out off £5 sent.....less than £1 goes where it should go.

Excellent notion. Of course the charities dealing with "African Affairs" want cash, and preferably in large amounts. I understand that when there is a central type of cash clearing house and the charities have to make a weekly, or even daily pitch for how much they need the charities are certainly not above padding it out. That is hard earned money from Donors who are giving it out of the goodness of their hearts and sometimes don't have too much themselves. Under those circumstances I think padding it out borders on criminal. certainly amoral.

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Re: Trick or trade

Post  malena stool on Thu 3 Apr - 21:52

To pay the salaries and expenses of the CEOs at a guess fuzeta.... Although if it's the organization I'm thinking of, they are reputedly very good at sorting out the entitlement rights of the disabled..

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Trick or trade

Post  katertaif on Thu 3 Apr - 22:10

malena stool wrote:To pay the salaries and expenses of the CEOs at a guess fuzeta.... Although if it's the organization I'm thinking of, they are reputedly very good at sorting out the entitlement rights of the disabled..

I rather think you are not wrong there old son. Business is business, and the successful model applies no matter what the product.


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Re: Trick or trade

Post  malena stool on Thu 3 Apr - 22:34

Exactly katertaif,
Slightly off topic I know, but the Charities Commission are perhaps a tad more on the ball nowadays... They denied the McCanns the opportunity to open Madeleines fund as a charity, whch would have ruined the credibility of the commission. Forcing them to set up a Madeleine's Fund as a private limited company instead.

The Commission must have developed second sight....

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Re: Trick or trade

Post  Not Born Yesterday on Thu 3 Apr - 22:54

It would not have taken much tweaking for the fund to have been given charitable status but its accounts would have then been open to far greater scrutiny.

A reminder of Enid O'Dowd's first report on the fund. http://www.mccannfiles.com/id405.html

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Re: Trick or trade

Post  malena stool on Thu 3 Apr - 23:05

Not Born Yesterday wrote:It would not have taken much tweaking for the fund to have been given charitable status but its accounts would have then been open to far greater scrutiny.

A reminder of Enid O'Dowd's first report on the fund. http://www.mccannfiles.com/id405.html
Thanks NBY, I've bookmarked this and will reread tomorrow.. I'm off to bed now.
G'night.

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Re: Trick or trade

Post  fuzeta on Fri 4 Apr - 10:12

malena stool wrote:To pay the salaries and expenses of the CEOs at a guess fuzeta.... Although if it's the organization I'm thinking of, they are reputedly very good at sorting out the entitlement rights of the disabled..

Well I suppose that is something Malena, advice is free! They used to run a lunch club once a week and when my Mother could get out I used to take her to it. They were volunteers that ran it and you had to pay for the food. It was at a school so not really any costs incurred there for them.

I found the British legion was the best of any organisation to my Mother because her husband had been a soldier in the war. Whilst she was able to get out a bit with me they gave her a brand new mobility scooter and built a shed in her garden to keep it in, wired the charger up to the house. It was such a relief to me because I could take her for a walk without having to push the wheelchair for miles. I was very impressed by them.

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Trick or trade

Post  katertaif on Fri 4 Apr - 11:49

Good morning fuzeta

I think malena stool is making a very valid point. As you say, when your Mum was able to go, they were volunteers. That seems to be the set up with most charities now. The people at the sharp end as it were, are volunteers, they give their time (and often their own money) because they care. whereas the people at the other end of the scale, the ones who rarely if ever see a needy person, get paid and paid very well.

I agree with you about the British Legion. SSAFA is another such,, who will help ex service men/women, and their families. It certainly seems our grateful (to those who have died or been maimed in their Middle East war)s government doesn't

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Re: Trick or trade

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