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BN Feedback Box: Begging for Money – How Much? How Often?

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Hey guys! I hope you’re having a great morning so far? At BellaNaija, we’re very grateful that you guys take time out of you schedules to stop by the site to read and even leave comments. It makes the effort all the more rewarding knowing that you guys stop by to visit EVERYDAY!

We’ve been having a bit of a challenge on the BN team and we decided to bring it up with you guys so we can have a feel of what you guys think. Feedback is a very essential part of how we work at BellaNaija and we’re ever so happy to have you guys.

Background
The fact that Nigeria has poor health care infrastructure is one worrying aspect of our society. There are a lot of people who are in need of good health care especially with a need for financial support and get a barrage of emails requesting that we offer assistance by publishing some of these requests. In the past, we have been particularly cautious about this because of a number of reasons which I shall attempt to explain.

BellaNaija’s Current Position
1. We do not have the staff strength to verify these claims or prove the authenticity of these requests, we are particularly wary about putting out information on the site which we can’t verify. We are very particular about this and maintaining BellaNaija’s standards of quality, we are unable to check that the stories and the photos sent to us are genuine and a true reflection of the infirmity.

2.We have no way of finding out if the funds gathered through our medium are being channeled to the actual problem. There’s the concern that there’ll be a mismanagement of funds or a diversion of funds for purposes not pre-determined. So, we don’t want a situation where we put out a call for funds and then there’s no accountability and somehow BellaNaija’s brand is brought to disrepute as a result of this.

At the moment, what we do is try to send an email back, inquiring if the people involved are willing to share their stories, thereby leaving it up to the readers to choose if they want to make further inquiries. Many times we don’t get any more emails, and we’ve gotten a few responses saying they’re not sure they want to share the intricacies of what their ailments entail. Some have responded that they aren’t averse to sharing their stories. So basically, it’s not an issue that we’re immune to or turning a deaf ear to.

We Need Your Feedback
We have decided to bring this issue to you guys to help provide some clarity on how to proceed. It is important to note that as soon as we open this door, we’ll be unable to close it down. Opening the door means, publishing every email (along with pictures) with the account numbers. This means we’d publish all emails which come to us as and how they are sent to us without any kind of verification with the caveat that BellaNaija shall not be held liable for any misappropriation of funds or any form of liabilities which arise from a reader’s decision to give to the cause.

The other option is to continue what we’ve done in the past; trying to follow as many leads as we have the capacity to do, given our limited resources, try to get the human angle of the story, share it and if anybody is inspired to give, they can go ahead and seek further information on how they can help.

Drop A Message
Please let us know what you think about this matter? We really appreciate as much feedback as we can get because don’t want to give off the vibe that we’re completely oblivious to the plight of people. However, we have to find the best way to tackle this situation for an optimal use of out platform to come to the aid of people in need.

Photo Credit: bronzeagebabies.blogspot.com

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website atoke.com for more information.

21 Comments

  1. Godheart

    March 4, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Some ppl are truly in deseperate need of money and will truly stop at anything to fabricate a story about something that may or may not have happened to them. Which in this day age with so many fraudulent things going on all over and sort I believe there others way to help such a person,but giving funds without verifying severity of the matter i believe is silly because we don’t know the truth of story. So @bellanaija to spare your origanization name and reputation i would most certainly stay away from anything of such.

  2. Berry Dakara

    March 4, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    I’m really skeptical about this. Just keep on doing as you have been. I would hate to see someone use BN as a tool to steal money.

  3. jay

    March 4, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Please continue with ‘the other option”, makes better sense.
    The other option is to continue what we’ve done in the past; trying to follow as many leads as we have the capacity to do, given our limited resources, try to get the human angle of the story, share it and if anybody is inspired to give, they can go ahead and seek further information on how they can help.

    • kaffie

      March 5, 2013 at 9:54 am

      My exact thots

  4. abbiba

    March 4, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    we come to bella naija to be entertained… There are enough sad tales in nigeria already and most nigerians are in need of help but we must separate an entertainment blog from a charity blog..we cant allow the doom and misery of nigeria be part of our story all the time.

  5. ufo

    March 4, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Yes I do drop by Everyday!I think if people need genuine help they Should be able to state their issues,so people can be better informed in helping them,verification is Extremely important,so I guess stick with your old poliy.Ure welcome

  6. Ruby

    March 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Please, just continue the way you have been doing it and yo shldn’t feel bad about it. Well done

  7. Modupe

    March 4, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    I think you should continue with the method u have adopted. i feel if their needs are genuine and they desperately need the money, they should be willing to share their stories to an extent with those who will help them.

  8. Yvonne

    March 4, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    I agree you should continue with what you’ve been doing. It helps assure your readers that they are receiving accurate information. Besides, people are more likely to donate if they can verify the story and it’s source.

  9. Chic

    March 4, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Continue with what you have been doing and refer them to organizations that may be able to help them directly

  10. My Two Cents

    March 4, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    I think you can randomly select a few stories to pursue a month. I should be quite easy (though not entirely so) to verify a healthcare need. Request a letter from the treating doctor and advise the doctor that his/her name would be attached to the request without revealing the name of the patient. Doctors are already quite used to publicity and would likely not mind you mentioning their name along with the name of the hospital, what’s been done so far and what is needed along the lines of treatment in the future. You could then publish the story (without including any graphic pictures please) along with the doctor’s verification of same and a few personal, but not identity revealing details, to help the readers relate to the story. Thank you for even considering assisting others in this way

  11. Jfk

    March 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Stick to your old methodbto prevent scam.

  12. YummyMummy

    March 4, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    as a regular visitor to BN,I agree with the rules you have been following before,by asking them to give details of their ailment and also a brief backgrounf to their situation.

    People like me are drawn to Bella Naija everyday because of it’s quality that it posess,not jack of all trade like other blogs or website are.

    BN is distinct,and I like the fact that you dont show horrid pictures of brutal & shattered bodies up here as its been potrayed all over ther sites.

    i will suggest you stick to what you have been doing before because some Nigerians could pretend to have an ailment without having any,and in the process drawn ur name into the mud.I will also suggest you put a voting poll for this so you have a precise percentage of readers who are for or against.

  13. Concerned

    March 4, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    There are a number of civil society organizations/Faith based organization that liaise on behalf of these cases. I’d like to believe that you’ve had a reason to interface with a few. For those cases which cannot be verified, refer them to such organizations and if they are able to ascertain the legitimacy of the situation, then you can proceed with your brand of assistance.

  14. Partyrider

    March 4, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Stick to what you’ve been doing. You are a fashion and entertainment blog and that’s it. And your reputation is very important,like you said once the doors are open they can’t be closed.
    Super sport will not start reporting entertainment news today even if the most ground breaking thing in that industry happens…you get my point.
    Do not compromise your standards and it will hurt me as a fan when you guys open your doors and all sort of things happen that tarnishes your image in one way or the other..

    You’ve always been different and that’s what makes you guys stand out..go back to the mission statement and anything that isn’t in line with that..bye
    Even the political news you guys started sincerely I don’t even like it,it was never like that.its ok to report very important issues in the country and continent ,but all that “mallam musa bought a cow for one billion dollars ,stole a truck of chickens and ran away ” ;kind of stories Abeg we don’t want..

  15. some1

    March 4, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    if they r a verifiable charity organisation then yes

  16. Myne Whitman

    March 4, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Stick to your policy of getting the story first before publishing. I think that serves everyone, including yourselves and the readers better.

  17. Mama Put

    March 4, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Very sad but fraud is on the rise. Stick to the old way. Lib raised funds for a little boy. Allen good faith and the father of the poor child spent all the money. So terribly sad and disgusting, very hard to verify and be sure. Unless the money is sent up to you and you pay for the treatment,which can be difficult. All things are possible though!!

  18. Ada Owerri

    March 4, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    It’ll be a bad idea to publish in verified claims. In Nigeria? Ah no, that’s the complete recipe for disaster. Please keep doing what you are doing currently.

  19. a

    March 5, 2013 at 12:07 am

    I think you can stick with the way you are doing things at the moment. I don’t think that you should open a floodgate and publish requests that you can’t verify. You should stick with your current process, and do what your resources will allow you to do.

    An alternative could be for you to interact directly with hospitals, rather than passing money directly to the individuals that are affected by the health issues. So maybe to start, you can have one hospital that you have a relationship with and you can set up a Bella Naija Health Fund (which people may donate to as often as they like – I am sure your team can be very creative with ways of generating income for the fund). So, if someone is unwell, and the person goes to the hospital for treatment, but can’t afford to pay the bills, the hospital can get in touch with you, and you can release the money from the fund to the hospital for that person’s treatment. I think this is a more credible way of doing this rather than dealing with a range of individuals from different places.

    All the best.

  20. Tiki

    March 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    While it’s true that we all have a responsibility to do our bit to help the downtrodden, if we all got run down in our bid to help there’ll just be more downtrodden, and less helpers. I suggest that you continue with the status quo of publishing a story, and contact details for anyone who wants to help. I think even account numbers should not be mentioned. Like you currently do, the story should only be published if the people concerned give you a certain amount of information, including their doctor’s contact details.

    Continue doing what you do BN, we love you for it!

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