|Supporting the indigenous struggles in the Americas
An important note on the transparency of charities
Many a times it has happened that people have been donating to charities and good causes, while it is unclear where the moneys have been going. This should never be happening! Everybody who donates to a good cause wants to feel they've done something good by doing that. And everyone who is donating also has a right to know where his or her money is going. Therefore I've come up with a couple of things that I believe a trustworthy and reliable charity should always be complying to:
1. Total transparency on the spending of all donations.
2. Checking on the spending of donation moneys by the target group (in this case American Indians/Native Americans). Charities have a responsibility in informing their donors, but Indians in their turn also have a responsibility towards informing the charities that they are receiving their moneys from. It would a good idea to not only speak to people in America and ask them specifically where they intent to spend the moneys on, but to also check it out personally on location (if you can afford to do so) half a year or year later if that has really been taken place. If they fail to comply then do not hesitate to stop any further donations. This may sound cruel but always remember that you are always responsible for your donors.
3. Watch out for Indian charity groups that involve new age, sweatlodges or Europeans with supposed Indian names. While it is not for us Europeans to expose wanabe's, we do however need to watch out for them anyway, because they tend not to be all that serious with where they spend our donation moneys on and we are responsible for the people who donate.
4. There should never be any secrecy about anyone's contacts in America. Do not listen to any arguments about privacy and things like that. People who receive money need to tell you what they've done with it. People donate voluntarily so no one has an obligation to give, nor does anyone have an obligation to receive. When donating to other charities, it could be wise to set up a legal contract with them.
~All this should be fair towards the Indians as well as the donors by making sure there is no rake-off on either side~
5. Also important is to look carefully if the charity is something you really want to support. Just because someone needed Jesus himself and feels happy about that, that doesn't mean that person has the right to bring his Jesus to other people. It is ok to help people by being inspired by religion, but not to impose it on someone else, because there is one golden rule to attend to "People come to religion, not the other way around". Paramount for any organisation is not to be patronizing and have the people you help have a big say in how they want to be helped. Otherwise it is nothing but unasked interference someone else's life.
6. Rainforest peoples are not backward, it's just a way of life. Always keep in mind that total assimilation is an irreversable form of cultural genocide. Of course now that their lands have been colonized it will only be a matter of time before the uncontacted tribes will meet with unscruplous rangers who see them as less than human, which is why some modern gadgets like iPods have become necessary for tribal people in order to warn the authorities of the FUNAI about illegal logging.
7. Another note on rainforest peoples is that supporting them is almost impossible without also protecting the rainforest. The earth's rainforests are not only important for them by the way. They are the earth's lungs and harbour many important medications for humankind. It's just that these people realize like no other the fragile ecosystems that they live in.
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