Charity begins at home
Save the Children is diverting funds from its overseas aid programs to feed Australian school children. So reported “The Australian” last week.
Undernourished children in about 10 (South Australian) State schools will be given breakfast.
Will World Vision Australia start similar projects?
Those who argue that charity begins at home, might say we should.
And I agree that if children are going to school hungry because their parents are not able to feed them, then Australians should do something about it.
But World Vision Australia will not be doing similar projects.
It is not just that we do not raise money for this sort of thing. It could be argued that most donors would not mind a small portion of their gifts being used in this way.
One reason we won't be feeding Aussie kids is that there are lots of other agencies better placed to do this than World Vision.
There are probably 50 local charities for every overseas aid agency. Most of these are excellent organisations with a lot of experience and expertise.
We don't want to duplicate what they do. Better that these local charities be encouraged and supported.
A spokesman is quoted as saying, “It matters little if the child is in Jamalpur, Bangladesh, or a suburb of Adelaide, the consequences of hunger are the same.”
This is true, as far as it goes. Trouble is, of course, it does not go far enough to represent the whole truth.
To compare Adelaide suburbia with Bangladesh is so simplistic it is ridiculous. It may be true that a hungry person in Adelaide is just as hungry as a hungry person in Bangladesh. But this rather misses the point that there are thousands more hungry people in Bangladesh than in Australia. To leave this unsaid, is obscene (not to mention poor journalism).
One report, published on the same day, reported that 75% of all the children in Somalia may die from hunger before Christmas unless food comes.
Adelaide is not, thank God, remotely like that.