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AIBU to cancel my direct debit to Oxfam?

(40 Posts)
HermioneWeasley Fri 09-Feb-18 20:17:04

It’s been in the news today that in 2011 senior oxfam employees paid women in Haiti for sex when they were there after the earthquake. Footage was described as a “Caligula style orgy”. Oxfam dismissed some of them but covered it up. They admit it is not the first issue of sexual misconduct they’ve had.

I can’t give money to an organisation that exploits women and girls, or allows it to happen, but they do good work. What are others’ thoughts

DriggleDraggle Fri 09-Feb-18 20:18:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

itsgettinghotinhere80 Fri 09-Feb-18 20:22:05

Cancel it. Appalling.

Happygolucky009 Fri 09-Feb-18 20:25:22

Yes I would cancel and look to donate to medicins sans frontier insteadgrin

InToMyHeart Fri 09-Feb-18 20:28:30

Cancel it but donate to another charity instead.

Mrsknackered Fri 09-Feb-18 20:40:24

Yes. Cancel, and donate to Women's Aid or Rape Crisis (something along those lines)

k2p2k2tog Fri 09-Feb-18 20:46:39

Vested interest - I'm an Oxfam volunteer.

The reports today are really bad. But I'm not sure what else Oxfam could have done. Any large organisation will have its bad apples and when it was brought to the charity's attention what had been going on, it got rid of the staff involved. The Charity Commission have no problem with the way Oxfam handled it at the time - the Charity Commission have no concerns about a cover-up.

Oxfam has really pissed off some journalists and the right-wing press recently with their campaign about poverty and equality and statistics about how a small number of billionaires are worth the same as half the world's population, saying extreme capitalism isn't working. Now I'm not totally on board with a lot of the lefty campaigning they're going in for, but I don't think it's a coincidence that a 6 year old story - which regulatory authorities were happy had been dealt with properly - is resurfacing now.

www.valuewalk.com/2018/01/oxfam-cares-ideology-poverty/
www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-5309943/STEPHEN-GLOVER-wont-old-books-Oxfam.html

Locotion Fri 09-Feb-18 20:46:53

Seems a shame for Oxfam to do this. If theyve been dismissed, then whats thr problem? Oxfam cant help they had vile filth working for them previously. You will always get bad eggs in large organisations.

kitkatsky Fri 09-Feb-18 20:47:33

Not unreasonable at all. I transferred my allegiance to unicef a few years ago after a hugely aggressive convo with a call centre working on oxfam’s behalf and that was a rubbish reason by comparison

kitkatsky Fri 09-Feb-18 20:48:14

Check out givewell.org Awesome website to see which are most cost efficient, worthy charities

capercaillie Fri 09-Feb-18 20:50:06

What makes you think any other charity will be any better?

londonrach Fri 09-Feb-18 20:54:32

What caper says. They all the same. Do you agree with what oxfam does? If not cancel. If you do dont cancel. Its the charity not the individual.

I don't support oxfam as its not my charity of choice but thats my decision.

user764329056 Fri 09-Feb-18 20:55:04

Honestly this is not surprising, I used to work in the sector and travelled to many developing countries where I saw staff doing this, I tried to raise it but no one keen to investigate, unfortunately there are many things going on in (some) charity organisations that are unethical, salaries included, and this is one of them

Justanotherlurker Fri 09-Feb-18 20:56:13

The reports today are really bad. But I'm not sure what else Oxfam could have done. Any large organisation will have its bad apples and when it was brought to the charity's attention what had been going on, it got rid of the staff involved.

Got rid is nice wording for given a “phased and dignified exit” for fear of damaging the charity’s reputation.

And they didn't report it to the Haitian authorities because “it was extremely unlikely that any action would be taken.”

Oxfam almost single handedly destroyed the domestic textile clothing industry in many African countries.

www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/06/second-hand-clothing-donations-kenya

www.nytimes.com/2017/10/12/world/africa/east-africa-rwanda-used-clothing.html

Its not a right wing media being pissed off, its people looking at Oxfam and not liking what they see.

mercurymaze Fri 09-Feb-18 20:56:44

i would donate to save the children instead, they seem pretty ethical plus i know someone who works for them and she's pretty solid

k2p2k2tog Fri 09-Feb-18 21:00:54

there are many things going on in (some) charity organisations that are unethical, salaries included, and this is one of them

Indeed and in an ideal world it would never happen. But all any organisation can do is to deal with any issues as soon as they are made aware of them which is what happened here.

sayanything Fri 09-Feb-18 21:03:07

Worked for a few years in humanitarian aid. It left me with an abiding mistrust of NGOs, UNICEF, UNHCR, the works. Save the Children are just about the only ones not on my shit list. It’s a broken system, with an awful lot of wastefulness and an appalling sense of superiority and self-satisfaction. Individual volunteers are a different story.

RainOnATinRoof Fri 09-Feb-18 21:13:46

I would cancel it. I would also send them an email saying why you are cancelling. I was thinking about this today when I read the article - I vowed that I will never give Oxfam a penny from now on (and I don't care if that sounds extreme). The fact that it was more than one person caught doing this and not just a single "bad apple" is a reflection of the organisation's culture.

Like many people, I am cynical about big charities, especially after working for an NGO and seeing how much the board of directors spent on fine wines and entertaining.

These days I only donate to "one man band" type operations. Like Karen Ingala Smith's NIA, or Hamlin Fistula UK. Small organisations powered mostly by passion, and no bloated board of directors.

AnneLovesGilbert Fri 09-Feb-18 21:18:40

Oh @mercurymaze I know awful awful things that have gone on with Save the children sad

There was a massive scandal due to break the day Michael Jackson died and it never hit the press.

IvorHughJarrs Fri 09-Feb-18 21:25:05

Back when I had recently graduated, many years ago, and was struggling to get by, a friend's housemate got a job with Oxfam. She earned way more than the rest of us, got more perks, worked in a far nicer office and, although we were all pleased for her, I don't think any of us ever thought of Oxfam as quite as worth donating to after that

HermioneWeasley Fri 09-Feb-18 21:33:17

rain I think that’s it - for several staff to have them ugh this was ok and they’d get away with it, there must be a culture.

If they only employed women this shit would not be happening, but that’s another issue.

In recent years I have stopped my regular donations to amnesty intl and NSPCC as well, because it turns out they are women hating cowards as well. So disappoInting

Justanotherlurker Fri 09-Feb-18 21:35:21

If they only employed women this shit would not be happening, but that’s another issue.

Err...
www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/calais-jungle-volunteers-sex-refugees-allegations-facebook-care4calais-a7312066.html

rowdywoman1 Fri 09-Feb-18 21:38:04

3 Oxfam senior aid workers sexually exploited young women in Haiti and were allowed to resign! And no publicity?

Presumably they have gone on to get more paid employment as I bet they negotiated references etc.
This absolute torrent of sexual abuse of women and girls is carrying on apparently unchecked. While Oxfam and other organisations continue to cover up these dreadful situations, nothing will change.
Shameful.

Mamia15 Sat 10-Feb-18 08:55:09

Disgusted. They covered it up and allowed them to resign enabling them to work elsewhere in the sector, continuing their vile behaviour.

Their press statement was piss poor - what these men did was criminal and monstrous.

MaybeDoctor Sat 10-Feb-18 09:16:08

I work in the voluntary sector and am deeply ashamed and depressed by this news report. It is beyond appalling.

Moreover, anything like this damages other organisations by association - see Kids Company. Also the Presidents’ Club scandal.

For years I had an Oxfam credit card run by Coop bank - they ended the scheme a couple of months back. I wonder if they were aware this was about to break?

I am sure that there is an element of the right wing press wanting to disrupt and discredit one of the darlings of the left, but the abuse still happened. A press release is there on Oxfam’s website. sad

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