Sunday, July 8, 2007

Corruption and Human Nature: Is it Inevitable? (Part I)

All human beings are sinners. Christian churches preach it, and many believe it. Some accept it and could care less, others take comfort in Jesus Christ saving them from their sins. But why this concept that sinning is inevitable? Because of human nature?

Nearly everything, if not everything, that we do is in our own self-interest. Even volunteering just for the sake of helping people (without the benefit of looking good on a resume or receiving some sort of compensation), is selfish because if it didn't make you feel good in some way, you wouldn't do it. I've heard countless times people saying it's stupid to do something that doesn't make you happy. No matter how "good" it may be.

But where do you draw the line? I recently discovered through conversation that many NGO staff make $50,000 US DOLLARS PER MONTH. PER MONTH!!!! They live in huge houses with 7 bedrooms and a heated swimming pool, staying in $400 hotel rooms and eating like kings... while all around them the people that money should be helping suffer. They must get some comfort in that if they weren't there the people wouldn't be getting any help. But really... how do they sleep at night? How do they live with themselves? I have woken up in the middle of the night infuriated after I heard this, and several times a day, I remember it and become angry and am searching for a solution.

$50,000/month = $600,000/year. WITHOUT taxes, because they're ngo employees. ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE.

How can people be so evil... putting on a facade of saving the world, and instead sitting in a bed of money relishing in luxuries that even those in the developed world rarely see. Did they know they would have these lifestyles when they started working in these positions? Or did they start out with good, honorable intentions and become corrupted by the corrupted system and the simple, easy way of swindling money. And how can they get away with this?

I want to make it clear that NOT EVERY NGO does this. I am currently looking into more information about which ngo's partake in this disgusting activity. It seems that a lot of the ngos that are sponsored by the government end up corrupt because they are only situated in the developing country to "spy" or to channel funds to their own economy. If you look up NGO corruption on google or NGO salaries, you will find a lot more information about this. Perhaps I was just ignorant or naive, but I never imagined that this would be happening. I have heard of some ngos being careless with how they spend money, spending too much money on advertising and getting big shot actors, but never something to this scale. Can you just sit there and let this continue? Never mind donating more money or finding more grants... for this organizations, just cut the salaries to even the average US salary, and the ngo will be able to expand exponentially and make worlds of a difference. How can they be getting so much and yet complaining that they need more money to be able to change the developing world?

I cannot accept that this is inevitable corruption and that it will be the way it is. Yes, more is being done in these countries because the ngos are there helping (in most situations, though in some the ngo hurts the nation more than it helps), but so much more could be done if people that actually cared were the ones that were working. If the money were being spent in the right way for the right reasons.. if a better system were in place to keep the ngos in check and to cut off their funding source if their budget says that 90% of the budget will go to paying workers' salaries.


Wendi said...


Anonymous said...

where are your sources for this information..the $50000 a month, where did you get that source from? I would really like to know.

Kyleigh said...

People should read this.

csk said...

i should have said in this post that these numbers and information are NOT from official papers or documents, but rather from conversations with local non-profit workers and local citizens. Therefore, there is a disclaimer that the information may or may not be accurate. I do, however, myself believe that while it might be a bit of an exaggeration, is indeed a big problem because so many locals and specifically local non-profit workers complained about this without being asked a leading question.

csk said...

i should also note that I did do a followup term paper for this for my class "Working in a Global Economy" where I used hard facts supported by studies and "legitimate" publications. It is pretty long, but if you're interested, let me know and I can send it to you.