Choosing between missions


#1

I'm not sure if this is the right place for this, but my Cousin really wants to go on a mission to help out poor/sick people - she has it in her mind to go to a place like Africa, build homes, teach children - just help in some way. I'm really very proud of her, and in some degree, jealous, because I would also love to do something like that - but with work and a child keeping me grounded, I have to aim a little more locally.

Anyways, watching Women of Grace the other day Johnette mentioned a missionary group (I can't recall the name at the moment) and we looked them up. The website says that you have to provide your own transportation over there, and then your own accomodations once your there. There's no way she could afford that, but she really wants to help.

So today she found this organization:

worldwidehelpers.org/

She signed up as an interested volunteer, they emailed back saying they have projects in Denmark and Africa, and that they would pay for the transportation there, and all expenses, housing, food, once she was there. I looked over the website, nothing raises any redflags - and in the end I told her my only concern is that she will be so far away, I really want her to go with an organization that she can TRUST.

I have two general questions looming about in my mind, if anyone wants to take a shot at em'.

  1. Is it normal, for charity assoc like this to pay for everything for the person? Or is almost 'too good to be true'? Is there a way to check these places out?

and 2. Does it take away from the charitable act, at all, if she isn't paying her own way? I guess I see it as, that money, was taken from donations that people sent to the organziation as a way to feed those people. I guess, on some level, I would consider it REAL charity if she had 'suffered' in some way? If that makes sense? Like, put aside some luxury and saved her own money to get out there, or, sold all the things she has in storage to buy a ticket. I mean it's easy to get somewhere on a free ride...

I don't know - I don't want to discourage her, but I want her to be safe, and not take the 'easy route' and then feel all self righteous about it.

Your thoughts? Recommendations for people who feel the strong calling to do more for the poorest of the poor?


#2

:lol: Now that I think about it, maybe I should have titled this: Choosing between ‘missions’ :smiley: Hilarious.


#3

Charlotte, I don't have any experience in this field and can't offer advice. But if you are concerned about the reliability of an organization, it never hurts to do a bit of checking up them. There are several independent organizations which looks at the financials of an organization and offer a summary of them.

Because Worldwide Helpers is based in the UK, I looked up the information provided to the government run Charity Commission.
charitycommission.gov.uk/Showcharity/RegisterOfCharities/CharityWithoutPartB.aspx?RegisteredCharityNumber=1117253&SubsidiaryNumber=0

Worldwide Helpers has an astonishingly low budget - basically that of one family household. And it seems that the organization primarily serves as a clearinghouse to connect would-be volunteers with projects wanting volunteers. In other words, they aren't directly involved in any projects and the volunteer has to negotiate with the project they are interested in. Although Worldwide Helpers may not charge for travel, room/board, medical etc I doubt that the organization covers those expenses either.


#4

Thank you, Dale. On some level since no one replied I was starting to question if I hadn't written something inappropriate :confused:.

My primary concern of course is my Cousin's safety. She is very attractive and I'm worried she'll be carted off into the oblivion or sold into some kinda marriage (( I laugh as I type but seriously though!)) I know women are raped all the time in places like Africa - we both want to make sure that she goes with an organization that won't put her into an area where there's too much craziness or she'll be in danger.

World wide helpers hooked her up with www.humana.org/Main/welcome-to-humana-people-to-people , and that is the organization that supposedly pays for you to go out there, pays for room and food - in return they supposedly teach you to become a teacher. I tried to look them up on the charity commission website that you provided, it wasn't listed so I tried to find some sort of charity commission website for Zimbabwe where it looks like this org. is located, but couldn't find anything.

Dale I really appreciate your help. She's about to sign to a two year deal without doing much homework. I think a decision like this needs to be researched, seriously discerned - so any info you can help with is genuinely appreciated from the bottom of my heart. This is my family member and her life...you know?

Thank you again.


#5

[quote="Charlotte408, post:4, topic:255264"]

World wide helpers hooked her up with www.humana.org/Main/welcome-to-humana-people-to-people , and that is the organization that supposedly pays for you to go out there, pays for room and food - in return they supposedly teach you to become a teacher. I tried to look them up on the charity commission website that you provided, it wasn't listed so I tried to find some sort of charity commission website for Zimbabwe where it looks like this org. is located, but couldn't find anything..

[/quote]

The site I mentioned, Charity Commission, is a UK government organization which monitors registered charities in the UK. Apparently it shut down the UK affiliate of Humana for financial opacity.

And it gets worse. Humana seems to be part of a network of non-profit and for-profit organizations with a history of financial abuse. Here is an older news article about Planet Aid, one of the Humana affililates

rickross.com/reference/tvind/tvind46.html

I quoted from a cult awareness website, however I was able to confirm that the news article did appear in the Boston Globe.

There are many other news articles about Humana and its affiliate organizations at that cult awareness site. I haven't confirmed that they all appeared in the newspapers which are cited, but they would make me want to run as fast as possible away from Humana. Some allege exploitation of their volunteers.
rickross.com/groups/tvind.html

I think you are wise to be extremely cautious about not allowing your cousin to put her life in the hands of an foreign organization she knows little about. If I were to be an overseas volunteer, I would go with a well-known organization such as Peace Corps or an apostolate of the Catholic Church.


#6

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