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World Aids Day

December 2, 2010

Yesterday was World AIDS Day.  I know I am a bit late on this one, however, I figure this warranted writing about even if I am late.  I heard a little something about this “stunt” on the radio, but did not catch all of it.  Then I read this article and was stunned:

ON Wednesday, Kim Kardashian is going to die a little. So is her sister, Khloé, not to mention Lady Gaga, David LaChapelle, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Serena Williams and Elijah Wood.

That day is World AIDS Day, and each of these people (as well as a host of others — the list keeps growing) will sacrifice his or her own digital life. By which these celebrities mean they will stop communicating via Twitter and Facebook. They will not be resuscitated, they say, until their fans donate $1 million.

Seriously?  This is ridiculous.  Celebrities pretending to die in order to raise money for an organization.  Texas in Africa gives a bullet point list on why this is a bad idea and why it can easy be labeled badvocacy.  Here are a few quotes:

Dear sweet heavenly daylights. Internets, we have an opportunity to shut the Kardashians down for good. Don’t fail us.

And then:

Rather than allowing the voices of those living with HIV/AIDS to be heard, the campaign is all about celebrities and their voices or the lack thereof. The campaign reduces people living with HIV/AIDS to helpless victims in need of foreign saviors.

Please, please be more aware of who you are giving your money to and what they are doing with it.  Just because your favorite actor or singer plugs an organization, that does not mean that that organization does a good job and uses your money wisely.  I know it takes effort and time, but do research on the organization beforehand to find out how much of your money goes to the field and how goes to overhead.  Find out what they do and why they do it.  Look for the signs that Texas in Africa discusses.

Just throwing money at a situation will not fix it.

Just look at Haiti.  Many NGOs, Aid and development organizations, and Christian groups have been pouring money into that country for decades with no discernible results.

Just because a group or person has “good intentions” does not mean that they know what they are doing.

Oh, and while I think this should go without saying, I will say it anyway.  Just because an organization claims to be Christian and doing God’s work, that does not mean that they are in fact doing that.  It also does not mean that the work they are doing is effective, empowering, or honoring to those they say they are helping.

This is something I feel strongly about and will definitely be talking more about it in the future.  And over time I hope to highlight different organizations that I know of that are doing amazing work around the world.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Carolyn permalink
    December 3, 2010 8:03 am

    Hey Jon,

    A book worth reading, to help in deteriming whether an organization is doing good, effective work is “When Helping Hurts.” While it deals mostly with povery alleviation, it has good principles for judging if the organization is sound. Do your research people…

    • December 3, 2010 5:57 pm

      I have yet to read that book, but I have heard good things about it.

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