Saturday, April 25, 2009

For $35 Million a month...

James Shelley has recently posted a great article questioning the prevailing modus operandi for child sponsorship organization.

Not only does he offer some interesting insight on what can go awry despite the best of intentions, but he goes even further and makes some clear suggestions on how to approach the situation(s) from another angle.

Below is my favorite quote, but you should also read the whole thing here.

"The neighborhoods of the developing world are no different than your neighborhood; what enables them to “work” is people who have each other’s backs. You can’t make that happen just by writing a check (but you can certainly screw around with the sociological landscape by sending money to a select few-imagine if some random people on the other side of the world arbitrarily sent a few checks for a million dollars to a few of your neighbors and you missed out)."

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I left a comment on his site. He has some good thoughts, but too generalized and theoretical. Until he has some long term experience with this, he's mainly philosophizing. Our neighbourhoods and culture is entirely different than a 3rd world community. Comparing them is a bit ridiculous.

James Kingsley said...

Thanks Anon.

Long term experience changes everyone's perspectives and I without putting words in James' mouth I'm sure he'd agree.

What I was encouraged by in James' post was the thinking/philosophizing regarding Asset-Based Community Development. With a problem so large, it's exciting to learn that people are thinking organ transplants and physio as well as band-aids.