When children die, of corruption and neglect

It’s been two years since I was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukeamia and thanks to the R&D  of Novartis and the funding of our NHS, I can anticipate many years of healthy life.

It didn’t seem that way for the first few weeks and I remember telling a nurse of how I tried to focus on something greater than myself.   At the time, my colleague and I were deeply involved in the childcare problems of Ukraine.

As a recent article in Kyiv post reveals,  the children of Ukraine are far less fortunate when it comes to being treated for leukaemia.  The article is written by the aunt of a four year old girl who died of acute myeolid leukaemia in a place called Okhmatdyt.

In 2006, my colleague Terry had written his article ‘Death Camps, For Children‘.  It described how disabled children would often die from malnutrition due to lack of resources and the predation of organised crime. He described a culture of NGOs being coopted into silence by fear.

In the follow up strategy paper calling for support in microeconomic development and social enterprise, Terry describes how the cost to the state could be reduced while at the same time  inproving child welfare and tackling the social problems arising as a consequence of poverty.

In August 2011 Terry himself became critically ill and was admitted to one of Ukraine’s state hospitals. David an Ugandan doctor and a friend of Terry’s explained to me that Ukraine’s state hospitals were no different from those he’d know in Africa.

The US Embassy told me that Terry had insufficent budget for them to be able to help with any better heathcare and so he died on August 18th. A leader of Ukraine’s civic action group Maidan saw him on his last night, while I spoke to him on the phone.  The plight of Ukraine’s children was his only concern.

it is almost impossible to overstate the resistance  to helping Ukraine’s children.  Regarding the influence of organised crime, for example. Two men,  who now occupy the White House were among those informed about it in 2008.   The Senate Committee on ForiegnRelations are in overall control of USAID funding and we would be told that USAID had no budget for this group of retarded children.

Conversely however, USAID did have sufficient resources to launch a social enterprise initiative in Ukraine.  This clearly derived from our work which  was described not only in our letter to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations but in a prominent news portal.

Someone needs to tell Joe Biden, as he would put it that this is a “Big fucking deal” and his sorry ass is in  need of a good kicking.

By 2010,  everyone in the world of social enterprise would have known about our work in Ukraine. It was introduced to the EU Citizens Consultation in 2008 and in 2010 put forward in a social business ideas competition to Erste Bank, a partner of Grameen Bank.

Though we won no prizes or support, the following year Erste Bank would show up as one of the partners on the social enterprise initiative that USAID and the British Council launched. This was the kind of club that wouldn’t have us as members.

There can only be one conclusion, they were terrfied by the prospect of tackling the child welfare problem and the only response could  be to brush us and the problem under the carpet.

The centre for social enterprise at Kharkiv National University didn’t happen but in 2010, at Glasgow Caledonian University the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health became a reality.

Just yesterday, I replied to a blog by PhD student Michael Roy on the subject of  ‘Conceptualising social enterprise as a health and well being intervention’.   It was difficult to know where  to begin.

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