“If you’re in the business of helping people, do it right. Do whatever it takes to make it right.”
This is one out of many comments that I saw when the Red Cross post went viral across social media. If you missed the news, let me tell you exactly what happened.
Apparently, when Haiti was hit hard by an earthquake in 2011, Red Cross launched a multi-million project to revamp the ill condition of Campeche, Haiti. The multi-million project was supposed to provide the communities in the neighbourhood with permanent homes. Fast-forward to 5 years later, people in Campeche are still living in shacks made out of scraps without basic necessities like electricity and clean water. According to Huffington Post, only 6 homes were built throughout the 5 year period from half a billion dollar in donations across the world. When asked, the Red Cross claimed that more than 130,000 people received new homes, when in fact, they haven’t (unless all of those 130,000 people were crammed into the 6 homes). What actually happened to the big money?
Of course, this is not the first fraudulent case ever. It happens all across the world especially with big international NGOs (read here too). This business brings in big money for a reason because there are still people who want to make the world a better place. And sometimes, they rely on a “credible” or more “acknowledged” organisation to make it happen. There’s nothing wrong with asking big NGOs for help – but how does an organisation that was once built to help the communities on the first tier level, become the wall that blocked all the help?
There are many theories that can be concluded as to why some NGOs are filthy corrupted, but I can agree with one conclusion: greed, selfishness and the fact that doing good things deserves no reward or compensation.
When a social business is categorised as a form of business, people often misunderstand the concept and how it actually works – the main objective is to compensate the individual that is passionate in giving their 100% commitment to help the community.
Why make money out of charity, you ask?
If you can get paid out of selling cars and branded clothing, why can’t you be rewarded for doing something that is genuinely good for society? Being well-compensated for doing things that you do best is just common sense. It’s business 101 (although not being compensated should not be the reason for anyone in any business to be corrupt at all). So, what makes social work excluded from getting good pay? Have you ever thought about this?
A friend of mine commented on Facebook that once upon a time, any big international organisation was once a small/local one. Well, there’s truth to that statement and yes, we should support small NGOs and social businesses. But what if it turns out to be exactly like other big and well-known organisations? Corrupt, once they go big. Honestly, no one has control over this condition. It is sad to know that most of the international NGOs are related to corruption rather than being the backbone of the global communities.
Is there any chance for this corrupted system to be fixed? Or is this how things will be from now on?
We need more people with the right intention to run this kind of business, and ridiculous political drama needs to be removed from this business. And if everything else doesn’t work, start doing your part. In fact, start now. Start choosing the right channel to help the community. There are plenty of NGOs and social business out there that stay true to their values without being blinded by money. You can do this at the very least.
“When it comes to solving social problems, it doesn’t matter who does it, it doesn’t even matter much how it’s done (as long as it’s a sustainable solution), the ONLY thing that matters is that it happens.” – Daniel de Gruijter, Co-Founder of The Incitement