Friday, 30 May 2014

Don’t Be Afraid (June-July 2014)

Case Studies in Confronting Corruption

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
In this entry we share some case examples, stories, and perspectives from people who have confronted corruption, often in some complicated and risky situations. As you will see in these examples, corruption is entrenched and ubiquitous. Courage, competency, and commitment with others along with perseverance, public awareness, and legal action, are needed to deal with corruption effectively

NCI Updates
We share these examples to encourage you in your inevitable encounters with corruption, big or small. We also share them in hopes that many of the people who have been affected by the NCI fraud will be encouraged to help---including the current/past staff, board members, donors, and partners of the organizations affected by NCI, including YWAM, Mercy Ministries, Mercy Ships, and Youth For Christ, along with churches and victims. We note again the core request below from the Shine the Light-Together petition, signed by over 100 people.

This petition is a call to many organizations and people, especially in the church and mission community (CMC), to transparently and verifiably disclose how they have been affected. Members of these organizations (past and present), donors, and the public are asked to help by respectfully  and resolutely calling for the assistance of those affected by NCI. Millions of euros and dollars are still missing. See the core materials [on the petition site] for more information.

Update 1. Petition. The plan is to present the petition to several of the organizations that have been affected, as requested in the petition. 

Update 2. Other Requests for Help. We are aware of at least two other organizations that have recently been approached to help identify where some of the NCI money may have gone.

Update 3. Legal. Currently we are aware of no additional criminal cases related to NCI besides the 2010-2011 Swedish case (that determined NCI to be a gross, longstanding fraud) although there is still the possibility in a some countries.There is currently a civil case where several victims are seeking justice.

Update 4. Harassment. Serious discrediting continues to happen for some of the people who are calling for ethical action and verifiable disclosures in the NCI case.  

Update 5. Anti-Corruption Efforts. The previous weblog entry (April-May 2014) highlights some of the growing efforts by organizations and governments to combat corruption. PETRA People Network is now an official partner of the EXPOSED Campaign.

Case Studies
Case 1. What does it take to be a corruption fighter? 
Short video by Transparency International (2013)
Core remarks from several people working in anti-corruption efforts.

For more materials/stories from Transparency International—click here.

Case 2. Why can’t Grace go to school? 
Short video by Exposed Campaign (2014)
Corruption may not be as straightforward as you think….yet there are many links in its multi-casual chain that we can break in order to disrupt it and protect vulnerable people.

For more materials/stories from EXPOSED Campaign—click here.

Case 3. How do you blow a whistle in a huge system like the UN? 
Trailer for The Whistleblower film (2010)

The Whistleblower is a movie "based on the experiences of Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraska cop who served as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia and outed the U.N. for covering up a sex scandal." Bolkovac, played by Rachel Weisz, "finds herself confronting a 'dangerous reality of corruption, cover-up and intrigue amid a world of private contractors and multinational diplomatic double-talk'. A fictionalised account inspired by actual events, the movie deals with issues both real and abhorrent: human trafficking, violence against women and cross-border organised crime. United Nations peacekeepers and staff are portrayed as turning a blindeye to, or worse, actually being complicit in these crimes." The Whistleblower premiered in September 2010 at the Toronto International Film Festival. 

Case 4. Can a family’s resilience sustain it as it confronts corruption/cover-ups in mission/aid? Article by Kelly and Michele O’Donnell (2013)
At the heart of this chapter is the Pace family, four resilient people who refused to ignore an international fraud in the mission/aid community. Names and other identifying details have been changed, and some information is presented in a composite form. We highlight this serious case to provide support for two types of families: mission families, as they navigate expected challenges of mission/aid life (e.g., transitions, culture stress, relationship tensions, child rearing, existential anxiety, and financial pressures), and the broader mission/aid “family” that comprises senders (agencies/churches) and the international mission/aid community, as it works to develop good governance, accountable management, and verifiable transparency. This case study gives cause for both the Korean and the international mission/aid communities to reflect on the quality of their work and its possible shortcomings, on issues of transparency and accountability, and on the challenges facing mission families. It is also a wake-up call to the reality of corruption in our midst and the resilience needed as part of our commitment to “love truth and peace” (Zech. 8:19). Excerpted from chapter 22 in Family Accountability in Missions: Korean and Western Case Studies (pp 175-176, OMSC Publications. 2013).

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