Wednesday, 4 December 2013

I hate working for a charity! Not another tree hugger!

'Not another bloody tree hugger, we've got enough of them, they do nothing but drive around in big cars and just upset the local economy', was the response from a fellow British citizen who I started chatting with whilst going through the painful process of checking in at Kigali airport in Rwanda.

Feeling rather smug as Grow Movement doesn't fall into the usual complaints that people have about charities, I listened and let him run out of steam mentally going through my to do list with the occasional polite understanding nod. I love when the time comes to say what we do and how we do it. Bam! We help create jobs, we do it in a low cost way...this is how many jobs we've created in 3 years!

I'm now at the stage where I prefer to say that I run an 'organisation' that delivers business skills in Africa rather than a 'charity'. Being in the charity sector seems to be something that people look down, that achieves nothing and has poor quality lazy people involved in it. A judgement is made on your organisation and you  before you have even spoken.

Wasting money, working without achieving anything, messing things up in Africa are all too common things that I hear about. We battle on a weekly basis with the dis-empowering product of poor but well intentioned development decisions. Many charities even today offer payments to  people to attend training courses giving an over inflated travel budget on top. Both my team and other entrepreneurship organisations are often asked by their students when will they get their 'sit in fee'. I'm screaming but this is a free service that can change your life, you're getting thousands of pounds worth of top quality advice, and you're just seeing the few pounds that you may have received before. Do we then refuse to take these people? Or grit our teeth and take them on knowing that consultancy actually removes these blinkers?

Every charity it seems also thinks the way that I do, that these badges don't apply to their organisation, that they are better than the rest. I believe Grow Movement is better, we are results and low cost focused, we have a talented team but yet I am not naive enough to think that we are perfect, see my last post! Until we make a big mistake I run an organisation, when we do, I will then call myself a charity as it is accepted that we make mistakes.


  1. You have a reason and I understand what your heart desire but try to take a look at the family international and understand. I'm sure you have a good thing. God Bless!

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