Posted by Jonathan E., a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2013 at 6:59 pm
Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, is a repressive authoritarian responsible for human rights abuses and severe economic decline. Mugabe's policies are directly responsible for the recent 30% percent reduction in life expectancy as well as turning Zimbabwe from a food exporting country to a food importing country.
So, can somebody explain to me why we should support this dude?
Posted by Old Ben, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Mar 20, 2013 at 7:54 am
Charles Dickens referred to this sort of thing as "telescopic philanthropy." I share his contempt for people who ignore the needy in their own country in favor of a more "exotic" locale, particularly Zimbabwe, a viciously racist dictatorship.
Posted by Scott Lamb, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Mar 20, 2013 at 3:08 pm
Old Ben: maybe you could organize your own fun run to raise money for a more local charity. It might be more successful if you talk about why your cause is important without showing contempt for those who believe in others. There are a lot of reasons you might consider another charity more worthy, but I think it's important to remember that doing something is better than doing nothing. Why attack people who are trying to make a difference?
In general, I think it'd be hard to accomplish anything in Zimbabwe, but sponsoring an orphan might be one of the better ways to try. I wish these people luck.
"[T]here's little we can do for places like Zimbabwe under its icon gone rotten, President Mugabe. You could try and train teachers, but you have no idea whether the government would pay them once trained. You could ship in essential drugs, but you don't know whether the government might impound them or charge for them at high prices. In fact, it's often only charity and emergency aid that can be of use in such circumstances: providing direct help for some of the population worst affected by failing systems, and grassroots projects supporting democracy and advocacy groups that might help in a small way to build the foundations for future change." - Giles Bolton in Africa Doesn't Matter: How the West Has Failed The Poorest Continent and What We Can Do About It