I've had to answer a number of similar criticisms ever since I made the mistake of posting this story on K5. I understand that there are people who prefer to give to charities in their local area, and I think that is terrific. We have many problems here in the US, not the least of which is our decaying education system.
Now, it's my humble opinion that the problems with the education system in the US are complicated, and cannot be solved by relatively small outlays of cash, but need to be solved with both high-level and grassroots political action. As I've said previously, I will take vouchers, but if you have a better idea I'm all for that.
So, given the fact that I thought it would be interesting to see if we could organize a distributed network of small donors, giving a few thousand dollars to the US educational system is hardly worthwhile, because the proportional impact of that amount of money is basically nil.
On the other hand, Cambodia has just been through one of the worst Communist regimes in history, and is just coming out of a devastating civil war. I emphasize "been through" and "coming out" in response to your cirticism:
Exactly how does your charity foundation expect to keep this school from being "war-torn" shortly after it is built? If warring factions blow it up or burn it to the ground, who will rebuild it? How many times will you give your $14 to a cause that can readily destroyed without hope for immediate resurrection? ?
I am no expert in Cambodia history, but neither, apparently, are you. This is the kind of argument that I just can't understand. There is no war in Cambodia at present, AFAIK. The country, which thanks to its recent past is one of the poorest in Asia, is trying to rebuild itself. We're not talking about incrementally improving the education system, we're talking about creating the education infrastructure from scratch. I can't take any credit for that, of course, I'm just an American who read a story about it on Slashdot. The real credit must go to Bernie Krisher, who is a real hero.
So, to sum up. $14K doesn't do much good here in the US, but it goes a very long way in Cambodia. Cambodia is worthy of our contributions because they are trying to bootstrap into the modern world. Last, you should do your homework before you criticize a project like this one.
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