Charities: Do you follow your donation dollars?
- March 18, 2010 11:18 AM |
- By POV
Some construction workers hired by the Canadian Red Cross to help rebuild communities following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami were left stranded and never paid for their work, according to an investigation by Radio-Canada.
Canadians were among the most generous in their response to the disaster, donating more than $360 million to relief efforts. As part of reconstruction efforts, the Red Cross built nearly 6,000 houses in 22 villages in the Indonesian province of Aceh.
The houses were built primarily by workers who were recruited about 2,000 kilometres away in Java and hired through sub-contractors and agents. But some of those middlemen vanished with the labourers' pay, leaving hundreds of men hungry and trapped far from home, according
to an investigation by the Radio-Canada program Enquête.
"If the person who put that loonie or toonie in that can, if they knew what was happening, if they knew what I saw, they would be livid," said Virgil Grandfield, a former information officer for the Canadian Red Cross.
The allegations made by Grandfield and Radio-Canada are "simply not true," said Pam Aung Thin, director of public affairs and government relations for the Canadian Red Cross.
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