Ups and Downs

Working in any organisation entails getting along with many different people, all trying to work towards various common goals. Unfortunately, when working with completely different cultures, sometimes attitudes about what is right and wrong can clash. It seems that I have ended up in the middle of many different issues, many involving different volunteers that have worked in Belo over the last months, and of course the root of all evil - money.

Accorded to the Wikipedia corruption perceptions index New Zealand is ranked number one while Cameroon comes in at place 146. I think if I had really known the implications of this difference in attitudes before I started enquiring about finances, things might have gone a little smoother than they have. All that can really be said is that all I suspected in my first weeks has turned out to be true but worse after my many months. Accounting is poor or non existent, there is no understanding of transparency, and one staff member was simply pocketing money to the detriment of the rest of the organisation.

In the end the final lesson I learned is that if you get off side with someone perhaps its better if they are not the directors son. Blood is thicker than water as they say. So, having now been falsely accused, allowed to continue, fired, and then re-instated, I'm still working away with the Sponsor an Orphan project (whose accounts are completely separate by the way). The umbrella organisation is making some improvements too now, so we'll see what progress the next months bring.

Comments

laurie said…
Words feel inadequate for this... It just freakin' sucks.
Royster said…
No argument about the need for transparency and accountability here, and its sad effect on those who want to help.

Transparency International is the fine NGO that compiles the Perceptions of Corruption Index, and advocates for an end to governmental corruption around the world.

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