Questioning charitable donations

It is easy to believe that a few-dollar donation to a non-governmental organization (NGO) will make a difference. While not to undermine the value of donating to beneficial charities, it is difficult to gauge the exact impact of these funds on the ground.

Northern Uganda is a good example of this very uncertainty. In the town of Gulu, there are over 500 NGOs; international organizations, including the UN, community based organizations (CBO) and other forms of groups currently at work.

Yet, if one travels less than an hour outside of town, it is relatively easy to find a village that has received little to no support from any of these organizations.

While such a situation may seem impossible with over 500 organizations active in the region, this is the bleak reality.

Today it seems that international organizations and world renowned NGOs cannot seem to make enough of an impact.

Grassroots organizations and CBOs, such as Villages of Hope and Child Voice, work with local people to create programs specially designed for the community’s needs.

These organizations work on the ground with local community members on development projects.

These two organizations can only run with donations, much like every other NGO or CBO.

However, the major difference between them and many others is that all of the donations go directly to running the projects on the ground. Furthermore, individuals from the affected country are running the project.

The work of these two organizations may be on a smaller scale in comparison with that of larger NGOs, like World Vision.

Donations to Villages of Hope and Child Voice will go where donors expect them to be going. Furthermore, the benefit of the work they do is evident when meeting with the people who have been touched by the programs.

While it is always a good gesture to support NGOs working overseas, next time, consider where the donation is actually going.

To read Part One of the series, click here. To read Part Two click here.

Organization: Child Voice

Task: To provide a rehabilitation center for women abducted by the LRA and have children from this

Aim: To help women successfully integrate back into society

Organization: Villages of Hope

Task: To work within villages to plant bore holes (wells) in the resettled communities of northern Uganda

Aim: To assit the process of rebuilding, restoring and resettling the north