Why do local people never get humanitarian aid money?

New book United Nonsense shows why local organisations cannot make it in the professional aid world. Even though they are the experts desperate to help their own communities. Localisation of aid is failing.  We give around $143 billion dollars in international aid. Almost none of it makes to local people.  The grand promise of 25% of WesternContinue reading “Why do local people never get humanitarian aid money?”

Was David Lammy right in ‘outing’ Stacey Dooley as a white saviour?

In the year 2000, the BBC and other British media were filled with stories and images of Prince William, future King of Great Britain, of his 10-week charity visit to Patagonia. Prince William had gone out to ‘help’.  He was pictured cleaning a toilet, doing construction work, and teaching English.   At 18 years old,Continue reading “Was David Lammy right in ‘outing’ Stacey Dooley as a white saviour?”

What’s weird in the Professional Humanitarian Sector?

Entering a new profession when you don’t know the jargon, the particular culture that defines it, the structures of how things work, can be shocking.  That shock quickly wears off as pretty quickly everything starts to appear ‘normal’.   Here are five things that totally shocked me when I first started out.   Fundraising Fundraising orContinue reading “What’s weird in the Professional Humanitarian Sector?”

Blockchain: how can it revolutionise the development sector?

What if we could transfer money directly to a cause we care about – and take out the cartel like monopolies who eat up the money in the middle? Whilst having full control and transparency over the entire life cycle of those funds? Thats what blockchain could give the development sector. Currently the international developmentContinue reading “Blockchain: how can it revolutionise the development sector?”

7 tips for getting on with white aid workers

DO, smile and say yes. Most white aid workers are entitled and have no idea they have no clue. They already believe they know everything. So, just keep agreeing and advance the groupthink mindset. DON’T talk about colour. White aid workers don’t like to have to encounter their own whiteness. If you point out yourContinue reading “7 tips for getting on with white aid workers”

What happens when a bank shuts down your account? Foreign ‘terrorist’ payments and HSBC apology on the BBC

What happens when a bank shuts down your account? We started getting requests from our bank to double-check all our details. We are based in countries where infrastructure is poor, and we are running a charity by boot-strapping.  Any extra administration becomes a crises.  We have to report to our seven different donors, whilst tryingContinue reading “What happens when a bank shuts down your account? Foreign ‘terrorist’ payments and HSBC apology on the BBC”

Era of Islamism and self-censorship

I wrote the below Ramadan message just over a week ago.  It was before the London attacks, and after the Manchester bombing.  I wrote that Ramadan can actually be a time of heightened violence, and then it happened on my home turf. I’ve become increasingly aware that as a Muslim-Brit, we are all under microscopes;Continue reading “Era of Islamism and self-censorship”


  I’m being told I have to enter the debate.  Muslims from Britain are dashing of to join the Jihad, and the silent moderates need to get their voices out.  It has recently hit me; I’m expected to voice up as a moderate Muslim.  I fit the moderate Muslim ‘profile’, educated, speaks English (bet CameronContinue reading “#traditionallysubmissive”

Transferring money to staff working in war zones

  One of the biggest challenges for charities is the safe transfer of money to your staff working in areas of conflict.  A number of issues arise when trying to transfer funds: including the fact that many people will not have bank accounts, that the infrastructure may have broken down so banks are no longerContinue reading “Transferring money to staff working in war zones”

Achieving as a mother!

I took this picture the day I turned 35. Its been a crazy year.  I’ve on-demand breast-fed, I’m consistently sleep deprived, I’ve moved house four times, been on a plane on average every 8 weeks, won two international awards for my work and kept running an international charity that’s working in places where people get blownContinue reading “Achieving as a mother!”