While working on my recent story about the village of Takara in Vanuatu, I discovered many organizations had been to visit Takara, but it wasn’t always clear why. Following disasters aid groups often overlap, fill gaps and sometimes work invisibly in communities. Even though the organizations start out with the same goal — “to help” — the way they achieve that goal can vary widely.
All posts by Emily Troutman
The forest is mute. Tree fallen on tree fallen on tree. Limb over limb.
After an overwhelming response to my story, “The IRD Scandal and My Ethics Clause,” I was interviewed by TinySpark, a podcast whose goal is to “investigate the business of doing good.” You can listen to the interview by clicking the orange carrot below. I’ve also included a full transcript of our conversation.
People saw the storm approaching for days. Meteorologists watched as it grew stronger, circling near the 80 islands of Vanuatu like a wolf eyeing prey. Tongoa, one of the 22 islands impacted, is only a few miles across in any direction.
Sue Morrow grew up as a “city kid,” dreaming about horses. Never given the chance to ride as a child, she decided to pursue her passion later in life, and in 2007, she bought herself horse riding lessons. It soon became clear that she would never become the great rider she’d dreamed of.
My dear readers, a confession: I could have told you the truth much sooner. I was stubborn.
Inspired to discover what the Google-ing public thinks about charity, I opened a fresh browser and plugged in simple questions using words like “help” and “donate.” I also asked about a few headline issues. It turns out that Americans do want to help!
Evert Bopp is the co-founder and CEO of Disaster Tech Lab. Over the years, the organization has responded to numerous humanitarian disasters, including most recently, Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Haiyan. For this interview, Evert and I corresponded via e-mail.
During my time in Haiti reporting on the 2010 earthquake, I sometimes did one-off photo assignments for nonprofit organizations. It was a sweet gig. Despite their tax status, the “nonprofits” always paid far better than news outlets.