*naviety seems to be the name of this game*
been running about these few months trying to put together two community projects as part of our Corporate Citizenship drive. in all our earnesty, we had manpower, some limited resources and moolah to contribute, and plenty of heart, in the short time we had at the destinated places. all we need are the directions and a plan to move.
so i thought it will be a relatively straightforward plan to execute.
quite the contrary. situations and intentions take an about-turn when you are branded as a cash cow, waiting to be milked. while waiting for the simple proposals that never seem to arrive in the inbox, i met up with a good number of professionals who specialize in corporate citizenship programs. the insider picture is unplesantly bleak. for an industry, if they can be collectively grouped as one, that forwards the cause of humanity, greed is the hurdle that is encountered at every corner. naturally, distrust and deceit tag along. in places where basic needs are sorely lacking, any hint of money is exceptionally glaring.
through the discussions, i learnt that a good amount of the money and the services donated in kind never reached its intended beneficiaries. orphanages, half-way houses can be set-up one day and gone, the next. poor children dragged off the streets to populate these places to create the perfect facade. even experienced professionals sometimes find it difficult to see beyond the front. for a corporate citizenship project to proceed, thousands of hours have likely been spent to verify the credentials of the respective NGO as well as establish the necessary accountablities. the beneficiaries could have likely received a trickle of what was originally set aside due to the amount of resources spent, in reaching out to them.
and then, there are the hidden agendas of the involved parties that has to be managed. religion and social standing are some of those i have encountered. these agendas sometimes surface, if you are lucky, on the day of execution and you are pretty much left standing alone like a foolish pawn used in someone's game. others hear of their shocking involuntary participation through third party channels.
it is quite enough to sour and disencourage the drive and gusto one had in the beginning.
i sat at my desk last evening, reflecting on the progress and the next steps to take. an incoming email from the Senior Vice-President (wtf???!!!) of a certain large foreign NGO. great. they want a year-long commitment from us instead of the half-day effort that we can currently afford. also attached ---> laundry list of wants.
this is just great.