12. December 2011 16:01
A professional fund-raising agency – the Canadian Organisation for International Philanthrophy, has been under the scanner for linking up with two charities in a supposed campaign to provide AIDS medicines in Africa.
The charities told donors they were buying AIDS medicines for $12 a dose, whereas other charities had been buying them from abroad for a fraction of the cost, at 30 to 40 cents a dose, according to investigative journalists from the Star. The Star’s revelations were news to Robert Steen, a senior executive with the fundraising agency. Steen informed the Star’s scribes also that the medicines in question were bought from Globe Lending Group - a Costa Rican company. The Star however wasn’t able to find the group’s head office. Reporters from the Star smelt something fishy also in a picture in the fundraising agency’s boardroom showing one of the agency’s executives in the company of Canadian AIDS activist Stephen Lewis, who was formerly the United Nations HIV/AIDS envoy to Africa. It turned out that Lewis had nothing to do with the group; he was in a conference when he was accosted and the picture taken. Also fishy was the fact that the fundraisers were not able to say where the Africa pictures in their glossy brochures were clicked.