Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Fellow Agents, some of you may have heard of a new campaign called One Million Shirts who want to collect 1,000,000 used and new t-shirts and send them to Africa to help people with no clothes. They are also collecting money for the shipping costs. This project by a (well intentioned?) Jason Sadler who is taking A LOT of criticism from development bloggers for obvious reasons: (1) there is no shortage of used clothing in Africa; and (2) second hand clothing has crushed the textile industry in many countries of Africa and hundreds of thousands of African workers have lost their jobs as a result of this.

Please read:

Jason Sadler has posted a video response to what he calls “hatorade” on http://yfrog.us/854i9z - wow, a real lesson on how NOT to respond to criticism IMHO!!

I would certainly be more impressed if Mr. Sadler’s charity would buy 1 million shirts from vendors in Africa and bringing them back to clothe poor inner city kids in the United States. Texas in Africa has offered various alternatives to Mr. Sadler.

So, what think you of Mr. Sadlers initiative?

Views: 671

Comment by Edwige Lelievre on April 28, 2010 at 11:48am
There are children without clothes (even used) in some regions (in Burkina Faso for instance). But I totally agree with you that it would be much better to buy shirt directly in the country, and if there is not enought proper factory, build some and teach people to sew (at a local scale, so there are no needs to import clothes anymore).
Comment by Elora Ramirez on April 28, 2010 at 12:15pm
Um - completely agree. I think the benefits would far outweigh his intentions if he were to buy shirts from a local industry within Africa (thus stimulating the economy) then offering used (which kind of upsets me) clothing to people who may or may not need/want the shirts. +1 knowledge share - I will definitely be checking these links out in the future.
Comment by Ternura Rojas on April 28, 2010 at 2:40pm
This often happens with "fake NGO's" who's only purpose is thier own profit. Proper, well intentioned projects would make a thorough analysis of the pros & cons before taking any action. My post about empowering women features Dambisa Moyo and her proposal for real development. T
Comment by Shakwei Mbindyo on April 28, 2010 at 3:06pm
Thanks perhaps you can all drop him a line and let him know what you think - I certainly have.
@Ternura, have you read her book Dead Aid - It is a great read! I follow her on Twitter but she is not very active.
Comment by PJE on April 28, 2010 at 3:33pm
Thanks for this Shakwei.There is so much need for basic education on such issues. Something can so easily seem like a good idea but cause all sorts of problems. Good links.
Best wishes
Comment by PJE on April 28, 2010 at 4:12pm
I am off to write a letter to the Salvation Army about it.
Comment by A.V.Koshy on April 28, 2010 at 4:13pm
yeah shakwei plus ne courage for this post - god you're finally beginning to bring some f these things out inot the open - the wh*** idea of africa as some kind of doomed place that someone has to step in and save is different from its diversity where it's just like any other place- unfortunately theere's too little of demystifying or demythologizing being done so that africa can be seen like just any other palce and given an opportunity to shine on its own merits and be looked at askance for its real weaknesses
this is my question too why not buy form african and sell to the poor in usa
reverse the process
as long as people like jason sadler are around well we can be sure that things wont go easy in this ideological battle
Comment by Paul Holze on April 28, 2010 at 5:31pm
thanks for the links...I like your suggestion too of buying from Africa and wish, too, for the end of the ideological beliefs about Africa that result in such harmful endeavors by Sadler and others
Comment by Yumna Moosa on April 28, 2010 at 5:58pm
How to deal with well-intentioned (?) people doing damaging things... Mmm...

When you know how, tell me.
Comment by PJE on April 28, 2010 at 6:15pm
Hello Yumna, your question mark that gives me the idea. I think if everyone is educated on the issues those who are exploiting ignorant good will and the people they purport to help can be exposed. Lack of investigative journalism in the major press means that most people never get access to the real facts and real lives and so can't weigh the issues.


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