I'm not going to write in criticism of the scheme. It's charitable and voluntary. Whether the need being met could be sorted differently, or whether meeting the need will just grow more of it are issues for consideration. But assuming donors have thought through these it's their prerogative to give.
But this is what I want to point out.
Variety chief executive Lorraine Taylor said donors could write to their sponsored child, receive regular updates about their health and wellbeing, and were provided with a breakdown at the end of the year detailing where their money went.This is exactly why private charity trumps state aid. The charity has to be accountable, which in turn means the person receiving the donation has to be accountable. Real progress can be made.
So why not apply these principles to government assistance? Heavens no. Imagine the administrative costs, the invasion of privacy, and the denial of human rights!
Imagine government having to report on the health and well-being of every individual child on a benefit. Some of the reports would be deeply disappointing and deeply disturbing. The donor would immediately withdraw or turn to a different charity with a better track record.
Oh but I forget. We are taxpayers, not willing donors. We must put up and shut up.
(Update. The Greens say, "We shouldn't need to sponsor kids in NZ". Their variety of caring and sharing must be monopolised by the state.)