by Rita Brhel Africa is a huge land mass, made up of 54 nations, 1.1 billion people, and some of the most iconic wild regions on earth. Yet, as mind-blowingly beautiful as the pictures in our minds are of the savannas, the Sahara, the rainforests, and the pyramids, our thoughts often turn dark when they… Read more »
Recently, several stories have appeared in the press that mentioned charities and their dishonest fundraising efforts. One such story, released by ABC news, reported that a leukemia charity used less than one percent of its donations on its patients or programs.
This week, when I was interviewed by Mother Love on LA Talk Radio, she asked me how I got into my first career, advertising. I told her that my best friend in high school had a father who knew someone high up at a Madison Avenue ad agency and he was going to get her a job there. That never happened but it planted a seed in my head: advertising sounded very glamorous—a place to be. It sure was.
In Niger, West Africa, where I was born, the morning ritual for women and girls in rural villages begins before dawn by grabbing a container or bucket, and heading for the nearest water source. Bathing and laundry are done by the pond after the water supply quota has been met for the day.
In February, 2008, Gil Garcetti, former L.A. County District Attorney and internationally acclaimed photographer, spoke to a Los Angeles-based organization, “Salon Forum,” started in 1993 by Barbara Goldberg, founder of Wells Bring Hope. Through words and powerful photographs, Gil conveyed the dire need for safe water in West Africa and the plight of women and girls who walk miles every day to get water.
After her first child was born, Barbara Responsive Research, Inc. and spent over thirty years as a marketing consultant to Fortune 500 companies including Bank of America, Coca Cola, American Airlines, Johnson & Johnson, General Motors, General Mills, IBM, and 3M to name a few.
Have you ever experienced pure joy and heartbreak in the same day? That would describe our first trip to Niger in January, 2009. Six of us spent a week visiting remote villages in the bush, reached by very rough dirt roads, two hours away from our base in the city of Maradi, an 11 hour grueling drive from the capital, Niamey. One village we visited did not have safe water. Of the rest that did, all but one were villages where we had drilled wells within the previous six months.
My journey began in January 2001. I was no longer Los Angeles County District Attorney. A month earlier, I had been the county’s chief law enforcement officer, now I was moving on but unsure of the direction. Life takes interesting detours when you least expect it.
“Learning From the Sin of Sodom”
New York Tmes, February 28, 2010
For most of the last century, save-the-worlders were primarily Democrats and liberals. In contrast, many Republicans and religious conservatives denounced government aid programs, with Senator Jesse Helms calling them “money down a rat hole.”