Slavery today

Wasn’t slavery abolished in 1865?  Surely there aren’t any slaves today.  Unfortunately there are considered to be between 2.5million and 25million slaves today depending on your definition.  Bonded labour, forced migrant labour, child labour, sex slavery, forced marriage and child marriage are all more common today than they should be.  See Wikipedia.

Traffickers from Thailand go into neighbouring countries (Laos and Cambodia) and convince poor parents that they have jobs for their children in the city and they will send them money.  Of course they never see the money nor their children ever again.  These kids are then taking to “breaking” facilities where they are beaten and starved until they become compliant and can be controlled.  They are then sent out on the streets to beg for money or put to work as prostitutes.  Many of these encounters are filmed and sold as pornography in the West.  Zoe Child Rescue is just one of the organisations combating this problem in Thailand.

Traffickers from South America promise people a better life in America, so they smuggle them across the border but don’t give them any legitimate paperwork, so they are forced to work illegally as domestic servants for very little money under the control of these traffickers.  The Trump administration is currently working very hard to prosecute these traffickers in an attempt to eradicate the practice.

A matter of trust

How do you know, when you give money to a charity, that it is going to be used the way they represented?  It seems all too often we hear about this foundation or that NGO with corrupt leadership, or charities who spend so much on admin or marketing that very little goes to the beneficiary.  And is all that money for medical research really helping to find a cure?

What is the integrity of the team on the ground?  What is their capacity/capability to deliver?  Are they reliable?  Are there any impediments to their success?  Is the cultural environment conducive to their success? Will the program really deliver the outcomes?  Is the program empowering, or simply creating dependence? Is there a recognised corporate structure?  Do they have good governance policies in place?  Do they ensure children are protected?  Can someone you trust vouch for them?  Are their numbers audited?

If you haven’t got the time to find all these things out, then Payton Foundation has done all that hard work for you.  We only choose partners who satisfy all of the above criteria and we stay connected with them to ensure continuing accountability.

Be Intentional

Do you feel like charities are asking for your money every other day?  It seems every week there is a campaign with a another coloured ribbon.  You can’t walk through a shopping centre without being accosted by someone with a clipboard, and every intersection has someone shaking a tin at you.

So what do you do?  Do you relent and give them a few bucks?  Is that because you want to help or just to so you won’t feel guilty?  But is that what giving is really about?  You want to help people right? But you want to do it on your terms.  So why not take the initiative and work giving into your budget.  Sit down with your significant other and plan how much you want to give.  Is it $2 a week, or 10% of your fortnightly wages or a lump sum from your latest investment deal?  Whatever it is, as long as you decide the amount then you can give with a cheerful heart.

Suddenly you’ll be looking for opportunities to give, and when someone asks you can respond with a smile and a yes.