I received an email from Oxfam yesterday. It talked about the Haiti story and basically apologised for what had happened. I read it thinking how many versions, how many people must that email have gone through before it was sent out?
I’ve supported Oxfam intermittently throughout the years. It does some good work and today I saw Simon Pegg speaking on Twitter about not abandoning Oxfam as an ambassador.
Working in the not for profit and also the charity sector has made me realise a few things over the years. Charities are businesses. They have charitable aims but they have people who they need to pay to function. Charities cannot run on volunteers alone. I support charities who are transparent about how many pence in every £ goes to admin/salaries etc.
Charities also have people who don’t share their views and aims. Sometimes charities are fortunate enough to find out earlier enough who those people are and sometimes they don’t.
Charities need to know when to admit they are responsible and something went wrong. What happened in Haiti was wrong. I don’t see Oxfam trying to hide away, divert blame and that is right.
Will the story stop me supporting Oxfam? No. Should you continue to support Oxfam? That’s your choice.