Much has been written and more expected to be penned about the relationship between WE Charity and the Liberal government led by Justin Trudeau. Suspicions (many already confirmed) of paid fees by WE to the Prime Minister’s family and some members of his government has resulted in the formation of a Judicial inquiry to investigate the mistrust.
In this edition of Milénio Stadium, a supporter of WE Charities is providing her opinions on the charity based on her involvement in fundraising over the past five years. Kelly Amaral is a philanthropist and volunteer for a number of charities and community organizations and her views countering the current negative aspects of WE provide an antidote to the mistrust in the governance of the Charity.
Milénio Stadium: Have many charities become too big to be effectively managed and is WE possibly one of them?
Kelly Amaral: The bottom line is I have no doubt the money we raised over for five years was applied and used appropriately.
MS: As a supporter and fundraiser for WE charities, what was your original decision to support this charity?
KA: When I decided to support this charity, I did so because of their very low administrative costs which was below 10%
MS: Up to this year, you organized yearly fundraisers which raised thousands of dollars for this charitable organization. Did you ever question as to where and how the funds were spent?
KA: I stand by my decision and efforts and have no regret my commitment to helping them over a five-year period. I feel my efforts and everyone who supported our fundraising efforts was definitely not in vain.
MS: Your visits to Africa had the purpose of personal confirmation of the good work being done by WE helping under privileged children with education. Can you describe what impact these visits had on you and did it incentivize you to do even more as you observed the positive impact?
KA: I saw first-hand the community of Romgena, Kenya. There was zero sustainability. There were no schools, no well with clean drinking water, no crops, no alternate income opportunities, and no access to health care. Five years later (I visited again) all of the above existed and the community was sustainable and thriving. I met with families and community leaders on both my visits and we discussed the progress and I personally was thanked for my and everyone who had supported the remarkable transition.
MS: ln hearing about the current controversies and criticisms that are being associated with WE and its organizational structure. Are they reflective of the charity you know?
KA: I always strongly suggest people to use the CRA website to look at how much charities get from government funding and break down of salaries etc. People would be shocked with what charities and their boards get paid. And again, think that WE from this perspective is quite impressive the amount of work and good they do with, actually, how much they raise.
MS: Negative publicity will have a detrimental impact on WE and other charities. How should WE encounter the information to ensure its durability?
KA: I also do believe it’s irrelevant, WE was probably best to administer the youth program as there is no other charity with the reach to youth that they have.
MS: Finally, please share the positive work of WE as you know it and outline if you think that restructuring would be helpful to ensure that the public at large understands their holdings and what the new structure should reflect.
KA: The issue at hand currently is purely political. And yes, I believe perhaps proper process was not transparent or followed, but this happens regularly.