This is a quick message not a full episode and I just wanted to say a few words about donations, essentially this: If you’re thinking of sending me a donation this Christmas, you could instead consider sending your donation to a charity in order to help people who are in need of our assistance at the moment. So, rather than sending something to me, send it to others, by using a reputable charity like Doctors Without Borders, or Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) by going to http://www.msf.org/en/donate
In a recent episode I mentioned that you might want to donate to LEP as a way of wishing me a Merry Christmas and saying thanks for my work.
I’ve already received a few donations – so thank you very much if you’re one of the people who sent me something. It’s really kind of you to support my work on this podcast. I appreciate your contributions, I really do.
But today I was thinking about this, and I would like to say again, that instead of sending a donation to me for this podcast this Christmas, that instead you might consider donating some money to charity.
Because there are loads of people out there who right now are having a really bad time, and through no fault of their own they’re suffering – either because they are living in a place with no system of care, or they’re just stuck in the middle of a political or military conflict or an environmental situation that they have no control over.
There are many people all over the world in impossible situations, and in the vast majority of cases it’s not their fault – it’s nothing to do with them really – it’s governments, corrupt politicians or the effects of climate change. These people are just trying to live their lives but forces outside of their control mean that they can’t – not even in the most basic way – they’re being stripped of the absolute basics.
I think about the people of Aleppo in Syria for example – thousands and thousands of civilians are caught up in this extremely messed up international conflict, a conflict in which so many different factions are involved – the governments of many of our countries together with extremist groups like ISIS are all involved in this extremely complicated situation. It’s a horrendous conflict and there are just ordinary people stuck in the middle of it – whole cities of people just smashed to the ground and what for? They’re the victims of an ideological and economic proxy war which we don’t even really understand.
The fact is, these people need our help, quite frankly.
So I’d like to say – actually, don’t send any contributions to me because I’m alright this Christmas. I’ll be with my family having a good time – maybe having an argument about the rules of Monopoly or something or perhaps feeling a bit sick because I’ve eaten or drunk too much, but I’ll be doing more than alright, all things considered.
And since I’ve got some people who listen to this podcast, I thought I might just suggest that you send money to a charity that will use that contribution to give medical care and support to people who have basically been forgotten or ignored.
Because your health is the most important thing, right?
As long as you’ve got your health, you’re alright. Obviously, we’re all striving for more than that – we want success, to achieve things in our work or in our language learning. But ultimately, your health is the basis for any type of quality of life.
Some people can’t even be sure of that. They can’t even be sure about just the most basic of human needs.
So, I think you get it – I’m not trying to guilt trip you or anything. I just want you to consider making a contribution to a charity for Christmas.
Obviously you don’t have to, it’s just a suggestion.
Now, it’s a little bit tricky donating to charity – because by giving money to an organisation you’re saying to them – Here you go, now I completely trust you to actually use that money for good things, and that you won’t just spend it yourself on some cake or something, or give it to corrupt leaders for whatever reason.
When you give to charity you are basically putting your trust in that organisation to spend it properly and in the most effective way possible.
- It seems that before you make a donation you need to make sure it’s a reputable charity with good ratings in areas like:
- Their overall mission and to what extent they actually accomplish it
- Their goals and how they measure their own performance and evaluate their achievements
- Their financial records – including details of exactly how the money is spent
- Guarantees that they are neutral, impartial and independent – and not affiliated with governments or other organisations that might take a cut of the money
- Where and how they actually use the money
- To what extent they use emotional blackmail in their campaigns, or to what extent they prey on weaker people to give donations – both of which I think are signs of disreputable organisations
There are services that allow you to check the trustworthiness and effectiveness of charities, like for example charitynavigator.org
So, with all those things in mind I’m recommending that you donate to Doctors Without Borders, also known as Medecins Sans Frontiers or MSF. http://www.msf.org/en/donate
On their website:
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. MSF offers assistance to people based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.
Our actions are guided by medical ethics and the principles of neutrality and impartiality.
They are performing a vital role in giving basic medical care to people who have been forgotten or ignored by people in power. Much of their work is done in Africa, in Asia and also in the middle east providing care for Syrian refugees.
One of the things I like about them is that they take a politically neutral position.
More words from their website:
MSF’s work is based on humanitarian principles. We are committed to bringing quality medical care to people caught in crisis, regardless of race, religion or political affiliation.
MSF operates independently. We conduct our own evaluations on the ground to determine people’s needs. More than 90 per cent of our overall funding comes from millions of private sources, not governments.
MSF is neutral. We do not take sides in armed conflicts, we provide care on the basis of need, and we push for independent access to victims of conflict as required under international humanitarian law.
Doctors Without Borders is one of the most widely known international charities involved in many Middle Eastern conflicts, including the Syrian civil war. Doctors Without Borders has been crucial in their medical aid to Syrian Refugees, especially in the neighbouring nations of Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan. Their stellar work has landed them very high rankings on Charity Navigator.
So, they seem to be a charity who will do their best to spend as much of our donations as possible on actually helping people.
So, please consider sending something to them over the Christmas period.
It’s really simple to do – just go to MSF.org and click donate. You can choose how much you give, but I am sure that every penny counts. It could make a massive difference to someone’s life, allowing them some relief, comfort or care at this time of year.
OK, so that’s all I wanted to say! Thanks for listening and have a good Christmas.