On eagles wings: Our recovery from Coronavirus (L). Charities Ethical Codes.
On Eagles Wings: Our recovery from Coronavirus.
Today we aim to finish our journey when it comes to ethical codes for Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and some comments about Governments. Please don´t forget that we will finish this epic with the last day of this month, September, in consequence, instead of writing on Friday, I will write again tomorrow. Our next saga, “The Fallacy of the Middle Class: Overcoming Social Resentment” will begin next October 12th. .
NGOs Purpose: NGOs or Non Governmental Organizations are entities that have been designed to help, to provide relief and developmental aid to those who need it, particularly to the most vulnerable citizens in the world. There are so many purposes for NGOs as much as there are stars in the sky. Many of these entities are international, others are basically covering only developing countries, or regions or particular communities. The bottom line: the whole idea of Non-Governmental organizations is to help those who need it. To rescue. To provide social services when governments are not able to respond to the needs of their populations.
The majority of NGOs hold budgets that require donations or philanthropists’ cash injection, and more than 95% of them are like “welfare” gifts for necessitous citizens. NGOs are either related to education or health related projects, education, emergency relief support in the case of natural disasters (as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, war-refugees problems, etc). Some NGOs are helping to make judicial systems more effective and legitimate. Other NGOs are working to install transparency and promote anti-corruption awareness; meanwhile there are others encouraging financial entrepreneurship programs, such as micro-finance, and/or developing human capital for economic development. Of course there are also charity organizations investing time and resources to keep human history, inspiring all artistic expressions and museums, and supporting religious organizations.
International cooperation projects have been handled or implemented by NGOs. When the governments are accused of corruption and have a pity reputation of financial scandals through institutional robberies, NGOs are handy. NGOs are useful to provide international supra-national funds, without governmental influence, because these entities or associations are designed to be transparent to their donors, and conceived for no profit. Such independence from local governments makes NGOs of good value, particularly for those donors who deal with international scope projects. For example, at the moment, countries accused of corruption such as Lebanon, or other crisis as Syria, Yemen, some african nations are deeply in need of international NGOs support, that can transfer relief to their calamity situation. In general, NGOs, can be classified in multiple categories, either by action schemes, or by demographic group, or by geography, or by size of projects. But in general, NGOs can be classified in two types:
- Advocacy NGOs: which aim to influence governments indirectly for the sake of improving the state administration and projects;
- Operational NGOs: which provide specific social services goals, through their own hired personnel and resources.
When NGOs extend their impact to an international scope, these are called INGOs or International Non-Government Organizations which abound in the world. At the moment, more than 40,000 INGOs are legally registered and operating in multiple countries.
NGOs Sources of funds. NGOs are basically supported by individual donors, enterprises and communities. Recently the Internet has opened platforms such as “Gofundme” and similar websites, in which anyone can request donations, and anyone can support them. The aim of these e-commerce donation initiatives is to change the traditional modus-operandi of global charities requests, by offering a “crowd-funding” platform at one click. Nevertheless, be aware that crowdfunding e-platforms are intermediaries, which keep a commission for each donation, kind of a pay-pal or VISA/Mastercard commission per financial transaction. In addition, crowdfunding platforms criticisms are copious, because it can be used for money laundry, (under certain amount limits there is not supervision of the flow of funds neither by the IRS or other local/financial sector regulators). Even though crowdfunding is trying to provide transparency, when donors and charities do not provide the sources of funds explicitly, these transactions can be used by criminal organizations. It is better to avoid crooked patronized money as much as possible, otherwise you will end up with a charity that is not financed with good money, or with corrupted wealth or with sources of funds that may come from drug dealers, narco-trafficking, illegal weapon operations or other illicit activities. When it comes to the traditional charity model, another feature of NGOs, is that these basically do not pay taxes (are tax exempted), and many high-net-worth individuals have coined their philanthropy strategies to avoid paying taxes to their “corrupt” governments.
Charity misspellings. When NGOs are not well administered, the signs of inefficiency are measured in terms of enrichment of employees at the expense of beneficiaries, embezzlement or misdirection of funds to corrupt local officials and scandals in which NGOs leaders have supported dictatorships, fake projects, bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, parochialism, patronage, influence peddling, graft or systematic abuse to indigenous communities. There are several organizations, one of them, Charitywatch.org, which is trying to install transparency in the NGO sector, keeping a record of charity scoundrels in which the NGO leader has used power and influence to abuse of the public´s trust. Some of these leaders are named in the “CharityWatch Hall of Shame Members”, as Father Bruce Ritter (Covenant House); William Aramony (United Way of America); John Bennett, Jr. (Foundation for New Era Philanthropy); Lorraine Hale (Hale House); Roger Chapin (Help Hospitalized Veterans and Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes); Larry Jones (Feed the Children); John Donald Cody (United States Navy Veterans Association); Greg Mortenson (Central Asia Institute); The Wingo Family (Angel Food Ministries); Somaly Mam (Somaly Mam Foundation); James Reynolds, Sr. (Cancer Fund of America); Zvi Shor (National Children’s Leukemia Foundation); Kim Williams (Healing Arts Initiative); Brian Mullaney (WonderWork); and Lola Jean Amorin (The Arc in Hawaii).
Charities Ethical codes. For the purpose of this saga, we will explore the ethical codes of the most relevant NGOs of the world. We have tried to choose the NGOs that seem to be more diaphanous and transparent regardless if there have been some troubles about them in the past. Let´s begin:
Danish Refugee Council (www.drc.ngo): Founded in 1956. It is operating in 40 countries, with 9,000 employees. This INGO has a specific expertise in forced displacement and refugees. DRC Ethical Values are: Humanitarian Approach, Respect, Independence and Neutrality, Inclusion and Honesty/Transparency.
Mercy Corps (www.mercycorps.org): Founded in 1979. This INGO wants to be a catalyst and advocate for change in multiple action areas, such as agriculture, cash & voucher assistance, climate, environment and energy, emergencies responsiveness, food security and nutrition, gender equality, governance, market development and social ventures, peace and conflict, resilience, water-sanitation and hygiene, youth and technology. It operates in more than 40 countries, with 6000 team members. Its values are: Commitment to ethics (dignity, respect, free of exploitation-harassment and bias), Inclusion, Diversity and Safeguarding.
Oxfam International (www.oxfam.org): Founded in 1995 and working in more than 90 countries. Oxfam believes in the power of people working together for a fairer world by fighting inequality to beat poverty. Ethical values: Empowerment, Accountability, Inclusiveness. Their motto: “A life of dignity and opportunity is not a privilege for some, but a right for everyone”.
Save the Children (www.savethechildren.net): Founded in 1919, operating in 117 countries around the world. Its purpose is to ensure that the world´s most vulnerable children, survive, learn and are protected. Ethical Values: Accountability, Ambition, Collaboration, Creativity and Integrity.
CARE (www.care.org). Founded 75 years ago, operating in 100 countries. CARE mission is to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice; focusing in women and girls at the center of its work. Ethical values: Transformation, Integrity, Diversity, Excellence, Equality
World Vision International (www.wvi.org): Founded in 1947 by Bob Pierce. The mission of WVI is to empower children and communities out of poverty for good. Ethical code: “Rooted in the love of Christ”.
Plan International (www.plan-international.org): Founded in 1937. Working in 75 countries all over the world. It is a development and humanitarian organisation that advances children´s rights and equality for girls. Ethical Values: (1) We are open and accountable. (2) We are inclusive and empowering. (3) We strive for lasting impact. (4) We work well together.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (www.gatesfoundation.org). Founded in 1997, with 1,602 employees with work funding in 135 countries. THis foundation wants to solve extreme poverty and poor health in developing countries, and fix the failures of the America´s education system. Its work is around 5 pillars: Global health, Global development, Global growth and Opportunity, US Education System and Global Policy-Advocacy. Ethical Values: Optimism, Collaboration, Rigor and Innovation.
Compassion International (www.compassion.com): Founded in 1952 with operations in 25 countries all over the world. This charity works with local churches in order to address the needs of the children in their communities. Its strategy is through children sponsorships to fight poverty in a personalized manner, focusing in education, health, Christian training and nutrition. Motto: “Releasing Children from Poverty in Jesus´Name”. Ethical values: Excellence, Stewardship, Dignity.
Amnesty International (www.amnesty.org): Founded in 1961 by Peter Benenson. This foundation works particularly with lobbying governments and campaigns activism to make sure they keep promises and respect international law, justice human rights, from abolishing the death penalty to protecting sexual and reproductive rights, combatting discrimination and defending refugees and migrants. “Better to light a candle than curse the darkness”. Ethical core values: Solidarity, Universality and indivisibility of human rights, impartiality, independence, democracy and mutual respect.
Greenpeace (www.greenpeace.org). Founded in 1971 by the Stowes in Canada. Working in over 55 countries.
About the Governments ethical codes. The majority of the government ethical codes in developing nations are embedded in their “charters constitutions”, and their values or mottos are usually (if not always) shown in their paper printed money (bills). The American system has an ethical code that is coined in the phrase “In God we trust”. But despite the written ethical values, the majority of governments dismiss them when it comes to actions, behavior, attitudes and even laws. Some countries do not consider ethical values when it comes to their leaders, neither their ministers, lawyers, professionals or key personnel. And if you go down the state hierarchies, believe it, many of the government employees do not even know what is an ethical code or more relevant values of their nation. If people are not raised neither educated to believe and hold ethical values toward themselves and others, it is nearly impossible to request that their governments fulfill their duty of “role model example” or as ethical implementation challengers in their positions.
If a Millennial generation president of a nation and his or her team members don´t care about ethics or beatitudes, that is a sign for educators to begin an ethical transformation for the new generations. Urgently. It is the duty of educators to begin an organic transformation in the new generations, and pray God that these little kids will grow with a new mindset. If educators teach kids in every class and by role-modeling (example) from Kindergarten to the University, all what professors sow now will be reaped in at least 40 years from now. In consequence, the challenge at the moment is to begin an organic orchestrated transformation by teaching to walk the talk the ethical codes to generation Alpha and Generation Z. And inevitably as societies, we will have to wait for these children to take their future positions in governments in a few decades. Only by healing complete new generations through education, we will be able to have government officers with ethical values. It will pay-off in the future.
Our faith (in the present) and hope (in the future) is with the new generations that globally can/will be educated under ethical values, so that all these little kids can become adults of ethical values, and all together can disrupt the governments and begin an organic transformation from inside out in some decades from now. I beg for charities or INGOs to help into the teaching and rebuilding ethical mindsets. Teachers need training in ethical values first, so they can roll it out and teach to their students, on a global orchestrated movement. Ethical values pedagogy models have to be designed and tested, taught in each subject class, in each school, in each university, all over the world, as an orchestrated effort.
On my next and last post, we will connect the dots between ethical codes and ecological societies. And finally I will provide a simple methodology to do ethical codes in any organization. Have a beautiful Tuesday, see you tomorrow.
Thank you for reading to me. A demain!
Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY. Nevertheless, the majority of the pictures, images, or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.
1 Comment »