Sunday, 7 June 2015

Mutual Aid, Not Charity.

         All of us with some political awareness, understand that large charities are not the answer, in this economic system, they are part of the problem. I have no doubt that some do great work, but collecting money from the people, to go and buy goods from the corporate world, is hardly anything approaching mutual aid. They help feed the banks, and big business, as well as paying fat salaries to CEO. They help oil the wheels of commerce with public money. Charities are in fact a symbol of system failure.
        When they do good work, that's a bonus, but mostly the fail miserable through a mixture of red tape, ineptitude, corruption and simply because economics is not the right tool in an emergency. 
         If the following report is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, then this must be the biggest example of that red tape, ineptitude, corruption and economic greed and madness, and further proof, that it is the entire system that has to be scrapped, and a system of true mutual aid built in its place.
      The neighborhood of Campeche sprawls up a steep hillside in Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince. Goats rustle in trash that goes forever uncollected. Children kick a deflated volleyball in a dusty lot below a wall with a hand-painted logo of the American Red Cross.
       In late 2011, the Red Cross launched a multimillion-dollar project to transform the desperately poor area, which was hit hard by the earthquake that struck Haiti the year before. The main focus of the project — called LAMIKA, an acronym in Creole for “A Better Life in My Neighborhood” — was building hundreds of permanent homes.
     Today, not one home has been built in Campeche. Many residents live in shacks made of rusty sheet metal, without access to drinkable water, electricity or basic sanitation. When it rains, their homes flood and residents bail out mud and water.
      The Red Cross received an outpouring of donations after the quake, nearly half a billion dollars.
       The group has publicly celebrated its work. But in fact, the Red Cross has repeatedly failed on the ground in Haiti. Confidential memos, emails from worried top officers, and accounts of a dozen frustrated and disappointed insiders show the charity has broken promises, squandered donations, and made dubious claims of success.
      The Red Cross says it has provided homes to more than 130,000 people. But the actual number of permanent homes the group has built in all of Haiti: six.
Read the full article HERE:
Visit ann arky's home at


1 comment:

  1. "Charity is humiliating because it is exercised vertically from above, solidarity is horizontal and involves mutual respect." Eduardo Galeano