The Strange Two

glad tidings to the strangers

‘War Games: the story of aid and war in modern times’ by Linda Polman – Book review

Drawing on her own experiences as a freelance journalist and from her own research Polman explains to her readers how most donators often have a ‘throw money at the problem’ approach and that this is making it difficult to provide real help. Furthermore, charities have become so money orientated rather than people orientated that they tend to seem more like brands and businesses and less like organisations who are trying to improve other’s lives.

When Halloween costumes are being donated and charities are pumping mass branding into their field work, we realise that we don’t need more donations but we need to rethink our methodology all together when trying to help the vulnerable. This book may seem quite cynical and the author may seem anti-charity. However, the truth is this is someone who has worked within and researched the circle of the humanitarian aid industry for years and is giving an honest insight into this huge sphere of the world. Poverty, hunger and poor education systems are still huge problems in many parts of the world and if we want to see some real change, we need to bring some change within the public’s intentions and the way charities work.

From what I’ve read from her book it’s clear to me that the Islamic system of Zakat and it being distributed with sense and order through the caliph avoids all of these problems.



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