Posts Tagged ‘Aid’

Small Potatoes All Chip In

The UK has thousands of small charities focused on helping to alleviate local problems in countries all over the world. Often these charities are very hands on and the benefits derived by local communities exceeds the raw cash investment. Additionally there are unregistered charitable works and support by individuals and groups to helping with local issues and specific causes.

Sample of Small International Charities.

1093083 – The Gambian Schools Trust- Manjai Kunda for less than £50k they completed 3 construction projects during 2016, a computer room at Kunkujang Upper Basic School, a perimeter wall around the expanded Ladies garden at the school in Loumen and the 10th Library  thay have built and equipped at a rural Nursery  in Jamwelly.
1012069 – A Passion for Africa raises £10k pa  towards building a children’s home in Sierra Leone.
1111755 – Action for Relief in Coastal Areas spending less than £1,000 pa for the benefit of those persons suffering from HIV/ aids in the East African coastal region.
1134480 –  Education for Indigent Girls in Africa (EFIG) raises £10k pa to sponsors the education of poor girls in Nigeria and Ghana.
1121411 – Operation South America   currently operates in Quyquyho, a village in Paraguay to support a foster home for  girls. Raising and spending £50k pa  over 5 years
1098390 – Sanitation in the Developing World generated £7k over 5 years to use in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and other Asian countries. Money down the drain I hope!
1053569 – The Social Entrepreneurs Trust makes awards to accelerate the growth of early stage social entrepreneurs in India. The main income of around £300,000 pa is UK derived from corporate and individual donations . See more on the projects financed.


Are  UK charities efforts and contributions included in the official development assistance (ODA)  commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on aid? It seems not – Fact Checking Charity.

To encourage more small potatoes to be planted consider:  ‘many a mickle makes a muckle’,  ‘mighty  oaks from little acorns grow’,  little and often, small is beautiful, Oxfam was small once…………..



Is The Famine Crisis Appealing?

No humanitarian crisis is appealing and that is particularly true of the images on display in support of current crisis appeals for Yemen and East Africa.

Whilst it may be justifiable  and even essential to stimulate donors, the fund raising band wagon and the way it appears to be structured is not appealing to a large number of people.

Leaving aside current DEC appeals for a moment consider the Scottish registered Mercy Corp who took national newspaper advertising focused on ‘1.4 million children are at imminent risk of death – please give £45 for Life Saving Aid’.   Famine areas in South Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen and Somalia were highlighted in the advert. In small print a footnote stated that ‘funds would be used where the need is greatest’. Given that Mercy Corp worked on projects in an admirable 40 counties last year, committing the majority of their £60m income, it doesn’t appear to be a focused appeal more riding the wave of emotion.

In the same paper (Daily Telegraph 17/3/17) there was a Unicef UK advert focused on the ‘East Africa Famine 5.5 million children in danger’ emphasising £35 could provide six weeks of emergency food.(Will it the cynic asks) Unicef receives no funding from DEC or the UN budget but regularly works in over 100 countries on humanitarian projects. As with Mercy Corp our in-house cynic could think some charities were using the current ‘focus on famine’ to top up there financial resources.

Returning to DEC, who took and I assume paid for a full page spread in the same paper, they are getting better at coordinating the disaster emergency efforts with at least 13 top line charities. DEC’s political contacts and clout may also have helped negotiate a pound for pound match funding from UK Aid up to £5million on top of gift aid. Action Aid is a DEC member who chose to send an appeal in a bespoke envelope. I can only assume all the Action Aid supporters donations will go straight into the DEC coordinated central financial reserve for rapid deployment and subsequent reporting back.


  • Primary concern is for those who are or may shortly be suffering life threatening famine, drought and consequent health problems.
  • How directly, immediately and focused will the aid be spent
  • Is the appeal blitz going to  inure donors to the victims plight and make non-contributing cynics of the the kind hearted.
  • Are the costs proportionate and related to the benefits.
  • Is the process fit for purpose and improving the outcomes where and when need.
  • The aid industry does not need any high profile probity or management problem with the consquent public relations.