What Loose Change Might Lead To

by Hutchinson

Ok, so perhaps this article is a little late in nature, since Halloween has already come and gone, but I wanted to bring up something because perhaps someone out there knows more about this topic than I do and can shed a little light on it for me. You know how kids come to the door on Halloween in their goofy costume, (sometimes hidden under a giant snowsuit the mom has forced them in if it is too cold), and they have their bucket or pillow case for candy and then every other one has a unicef box? Do you donate to the unicef box?? I do not. And I am not sure if it is my place to urge you to consider not to either, but I have some concerns about the organization that are possibly being too easily dismissed by incoherent moms and dads who strap this familiar orange unicef box around their child’s neck without thinking what the money raised might be used for. An elementary school child should not have the responsibility of deciding if fundraising for this ‘charity’ is a worthy cause, but perhaps parents and those who give out money haphazardly to this ‘charity’ should stop for a second and try to think where the money could be going.

“Changing the world with children” is what unicef titles their campaign, and while at face value this seems like a notable cause, it is questionable as to what lengths the organization will go to in terms of helping families raise children and helping women be equals in all realms of life. A quick visit to www.unicef.org is a stand by government web page full of the usual garble about how wonderful the organization is, their accomplishments, and a place for you to donate to their charity (of course). My confusion with the organization comes in when I start to think what the notable unicef might do to make children’s lives better or women more equal…

Certainly, movements such as forming children’s rights and donations of foods are appropriate methods of helping in need populations. These populations are often found in war torn countries or in underdeveloped countries, and there is a long list of great things unicef has done in such circumstances. But, as per usual, there seems to be a undisclosed amount of shadiness to the whole organization. The fact that unicef is privately funded by other non-for-profit organizations makes you wonder what everyone’s intentions are when it comes to helping ‘underdeveloped’ countries. Could there not be a stake there? (I am not going to hide my pure ignorance to economics or international relations here, because the point of the article is to get readers to write back so I have an expanded understanding of things, so please shed some light for me on the potential amount of scandal when it comes to such situations and organizations).

I have read about women being sterilized without any knowledge as a means for population control. Unicef has been accused many times of going to underdeveloped nations and ‘vaccinating’ women. Unfortunately, this vaccination is a sterilization and prevents them from having children again. Now, while screaming about chastity will not help lower the birth rate and death rate of children in these countries, does sterilization offer the best alternative solution? Is this what constitutes making children’s lives better? If mom only has two children and then has to get the infamous ‘vaccination’ surely there will be better opportunity to raise the children – but this does not consider the fact that the woman may be culturally condemned. In many cultures, motherhood is the ultimate greatness for a woman, and to deprive her of it without so much as asking her if she would like to control how many children she has is unethical.

I cannot believe that an organization would be able to do such things without having to pass through an ethics board before carrying on with a campaign. But perhaps this is where the politics of it all ties in. Say a nation needs money. If an organization is willing to help financially, does it not give them room to bargain with certain terms that need to be met? For example, ‘unicef will donate $x if the government allows sterilization’.

Another paper I read claims that women in an under developed nation were injected with a trial form of birth control where they would cease to menstruate for months at a time. Unfortunately the side effects of the ‘new & improved’ birth control were to last as long as the effects of the injection would last (so, months). One of the side effects was menstruation for as long as the injection lasted…resulting in months of menses, resulting in more risk for contact to blood if others were involved with the woman, resulting in increased risk for transmission of AIDS.

These certain points are disturbing to me, and when trying to find out what is being done about enforcing ethics with such organizations, I cannot find any literature. And, (sorry if you are a devout catholic), the only source for finding info on this is through catholic and other religious organizational papers. I find the two sources, unicef and their funders & the religious papers too subjective to be used when trying to decide if unicef is doing monstrous things out there or not.

Either way, I just think people are too blasé about donating to organizations for the sake of tax write offs or for the sake of just donating to things that on face value seem wholesome. If I were a woman in an underdeveloped country who might be on the receiving end of such ‘campaigns’ to benefit children and women, I would want others to know where they were putting their money and what they were supporting.

In hopes this sparks some sort of thought into what the “Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF” program stands for, this article could also be used next Halloween for just simply a conversational piece. Our house had a big debate over ethics, population control, developing nations, not-for-profit organizations, religion, values and beliefs, and many other things. I hope that you will share your insight in the discussion area so I can read it too!

  • What Loose Change Might Lead To
  • by Hutchinson
  • Published on January 1st, 2002

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