NO LAUGHING MATTER

Hey, want to see something funny?

However, these pictures are no laughing matter.

(Photos courtesy of Family from Afar)

One of the most effective ways to change this is to get to the root cause. And making huge shoe donations isn’t the answer.

Consider this: “After Hurricane Mitch in 1998, Honduras was flooded with shipments of donated goods. They clogged ports, overwhelmed military transport, and made it nearly impossible for relief agencies to ship in the things they really needed. Those donations did harm, not good. Expired drugs had to be carefully disposed of. Inappropriate donations had to be transported away and discarded. All of this wasted time and money. ” Nobody wants your old shoes: How not to help in Haiti. 

Sometimes the donations aren’t of any real use for the area. As one one-time islander in Honduras explains about the shoes… “I lived through Hurricane Mitch on a little Island called Utila in the Bay Islands of Honduras. So much devastation. The Islanders were quite confused about the container that arrived on a ship to Utila full of high heel shoes. Yes, high heel shoes, the entire container!”  A Day Without Dignity.

Many times our good intentions can cause more harm than good. Donating Shoes and Other Aid Fads. 

However, I know how a charitable heart works and I totally understand the urge to send shoes for these needy children. But let’s find another way to help. As one emergency relief workers states: “Donating stuff instead of money is a serious problem in emergency relief. Only the people on the ground know what’s actually necessary.”

One sure way to offer your assistance is to give to charities that get at the root cause. These impoverished families need programs that fund money to families in search of a better life through education and self-sufficiency.

For our GOOD FRIDAY, let’s help kids all over the world get new shoes. Consider donating money to a local charity or an international one like Childfund International or Compassion International. Both these charities help the child by providing their parents with means to buy goods that are local (including shoes). Come back on Friday and tell us what charity you chose to help. And as always, keep your head up.

2 comments

  1. Sophie Nussle

    Thank you for this. Having worked in emergency relief for years, I can second what you write.

    But that said, clothes and household goods in good condition can be useful in the right place. I was once in a village in Tanzania when a consignment of second-hand clothes arrived, and was handed over to the village tailor, who worked on an old (non-electrical) Singer. For a modest fee, he transformed those clothes for whoever wanted to buy them in the village: a little girl was fitted for a pretty dress which, when the tailor had finished with it, was as good as new and only needed some ironing, which the little girl’s mother will have done at home. Following another trip to Tanzania, my father also organised a special consginment of mountaineering equipment and boots for the guides of the Kilimandjaro, many of whom had next to no equipment. So it all depends on who does the collection and where certain types of clothes and goods are sent. High heels in an island off Honduras, boo hiss!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s