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More on Goats for Africa

I have covered it before, but it still gets my goat! I'm being deluged with brochures asking me to buy a goat for a smiling African farmer, but supplying goats is a stupid idea for many areas as they ruin the land...

The Times

Christian Aid said there had been a misunderstanding. The purchase of a goat did not really mean that a goat was bought. The money would go into a farming and livestock fund that would be distributed by local project managers.

But if Christian Aid thought that would see off its critics, it was mistaken. Intelligent Giving, the charities analyst, said it was appalled by its own research, which showed that few charities delivered the animals that they said they would. Adam Rothwell, a researcher at IG, said: “We have looked at what your money actually buys you, because what you see isn’t always what your African farmer gets.”

Of all the charities IG investigated, only three — The Good Gifts Catalogue, Save the Children and Help the Aged’s Cows ‘n’ Things, guaranteed to buy what present-givers had donated for.

Rothwell was unimpressed with promises from charities that the money would go to useful projects elsewhere.

“The usual explanation was that the money would go to something like a goat, or that the charity would spend the money on something else entirely, where it judged there was the greatest need. But that’s like paying for an iPod and getting a radio,” he said.

“We don’t think most people would be happy with that.”

I wouldn't trust "Christian Aid" with anything after their disgraceful adverts this year so the fact they don't deliver what you have bought doesn't surprise me.


Good news from Samizdata on "Christian Aid":

I think you're somewhat missing the point. True, it is wrong that the charities use the money a different way to how they said that they would, but its not as if they're using it to line their own pockets.
And although I think that they should be more open and say, for instance, that if they didn't actually buy a goat then they would use the money for a livestock fund or whatever, but that doesn't mean we should stop trusting charities, and stop donating to them. It shouldn't be that every charity suffers due to the carelessness of a minority.
After all, they're CHARITIES. I know we can be certain that, even if they dont do exactly what it says on the tin, we can still be confident that the money will be used CHARITABLY, whatever happens to it.

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