Teach charity recipients to stand on their own feet


The contentious eviction of refugees – most of whom from Zimbabwe – from Central Methodist in Johannesburg should compel charity organisations to rethink on how they run their operations.

While Bishop Paul Verryn’s benevolence is a commendable act from a ‘man of the cloth’, it has had a downside to it. People who were given temporary sanctuary overstayed their welcome and began to think they were entitled to live at the place.

On the flipside, the Bishop is as much to blame as the refugees themselves. Hosting 500 people in a structure that is supposed to accommodate people for a few hours of worship on a Sunday was going to speed up wear and tear and lead to increase in utility bills at some point. It was just not sustainable. Hence, he should have given them a time frame in which they were supposed to ensure that they found income-generating activities and their own accommodation.

Indeed, all told, the moral is that charity organisations should create schemes which encourage some of their recipients who are able bodied to stand on their own feet at some point. With even some of their devoted donors cutting down their CSI funding due to tough economic times, this is the route to go.

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