The Charity Base responds to sponsorship scam
By: Charles Lotara
The Charity Base, a charity organization that offers education sponsorship and project funding across the globe has unequivocally responded to the ongoing scholarship scam contention among the South Sudanese public.
From September to October this year, the organization ran an advert on Juba Monitor calling for applications from people who want to further their studies at tertiary institutions and colleges but lack funding.
The Charity Base African Regional Officer Kevin Nkosi said despite receiving a plethora of applications, only 120 applicants were approved while the rest were declined.
Alarmed by the organization’s demand to pay $300 to cater for verification costs, applicants who received approval forms fretted with imagination that the sponsorship could be a scam, coupled with the organization’s physical address not known.
In an email to Juba Monitor, Nkosi who is based in South Africa justified the demand for the verification fee not included in the approval form seen by this publication saying the Charity Base mother body in Canada could not facilitate the verification process.
“One of the major contents of the approval letter was that the mother body in Canada cannot send delegates to go and verify existence of those approved,” he said.
“The head office therefore recommended that I work hand in hand with those approved and I go to South Sudan and verify each application approved case by case. Because of the overwhelming number we received, I therefore decided to line up a team of six people from South Africa to come and verify all those approved,” he added.
Nkosi, also the African Regional Contact Agent at the Charity Base wrote that the above arrangement infuriated some applicants who either called or sent emails containing unprintable insults without realization that the organization contributes $1000 toward the verification expense.
“When we communicated this proposal to our approved applicants, most of them were not happy and comfortable with it, some requested politely to be helped without any payment and many responded with abuses and insults. I almost cannot do anything because I receive thousands of emails and calls daily abusing and calling me names,” Nkosi revealed.
The South Africa-based regional officer said not a single applicant has paid a coin so far and the only things he is receiving from them are words of abuse.
“I challenge ANY ONE who claims to have paid any cent to give proof. No single person has even paid a coin, they are only paying us with insults,” he said.
A number of South Sudanese applicants who were approved on the Charity Base sponsorship were warry when an organization from which they do not know or never met a single person in charge demanded critical information such as bank account details.
Meanwhile, Nkosi affirmed that the Charity Base will remain committed in supporting and alleviating the needy across South Sudan with plans to establish an office in the Africa’s youngest nation underway.
Amid the reputational road kill looming and the confidence in the authenticity of the Charity Base fading among the general public in South Sudan, Nkosi pledged to place another advert or notice with Juba Monitor where the initial advert was placed to clarify the validity of the organization.
“We are not giving up on the poor people who need help, however we are reviewing our budget and very soon we are going to run an advert/notice in the same newspaper clarifying our position and also to tell our applicants that we will be in South Sudan in one of the hotels we are yet to decide because of budget reasons and proceed with our programme,” he said.
On a website that has no Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates and marked by internet browsers as insecure, the Charity Base says “It has reached out to approximately 500,0000 people around the globe connecting those who are more fortunate to those who seek help and funding in different countries of the world and 5000 Non-Governmental Organizations with specific causes.”