Charities Must Be Transparent – Column for The Catholic Register

I served two-terms with The Catholic Register as a member of its Youth Speak News Team. I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute from time to time.
While the summer has been busy and my blogging has been on hiatus on recent weeks, I am still writing in various capacities. The WE Charity Scandal that has been unfolding in recent weeks is baffling. In this column for this week’s issue of The Catholic Register, I speak about the importance of transparency within charities, especially during these times.

WE Charity is a Canadian non-profit organization that I contributed time and effort to throughout my years in elementary and secondary school.

I remember when I was in Grade 2, some Grade 7 students went classroom to classroom encouraging students to put spare change in a can to support WE Charity causes. When I was in Grade 7, I actively engaged in several Me to WE initiatives, kicking off with the 2014 WE Day in the fall and then a series of fundraisers throughout the year. I remember distributing small cardboard houses that year to all the classes in the school. The change collected supported WE Charity’s mission of building schools in impoverished countries.

In short, WE was the “go-to” charity in my years in elementary and secondary school as it seemed to be the favoured charity by the schools I attended, though it is not affiliated with the Church.

However, as the WE scandal emerged in recent weeks I started to have second thoughts about WE. The revelations have simply been baffling. While I have always supported the work of WE, the complexity of its organization, lack of concrete answers from the founders and apparent lack of transparency in funding is concerning. 

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About Vincent Pham

Vincent is a humanities student of the University of Toronto’s Trinity College of the Faculty of Arts and Science. He hopes to pursue a double major in Ethics, Law and Society, and Philosophy.
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