This past Saturday, I sat in the backed up traffic somewhere between Mallam Junction and Keneshie Market in Accra, edging my way one car length at a time along with everyone else who was intent on leaving the capital. Somewhere behind us, I could hear the wail of a siren and along with my fellow travellers, we all tried our best to move to the side to make way for the emergency vehicle that we thought was desperately trying to make its way through. There was very little room to maneuverer in the cramped conditions and even after our best efforts there were only a few feet between my car and the taxi beside me.

Suddenly a police motorcycle was beside us, weaving his way between the crush, followed abruptly by a second one. The rider of the second one reached out and with obvious intent smashed the mirror off the taxi, waving his fist and directing some deleterious comment  towards the hapless taxi driver who sat defenceless as he watched his mirror soaring through the air before crashing to the pavement and smashing into pieces.

My passengers and I had not even had time to vent our outrage at the unnecessary actions of this policeman when a cavalcade of  six shiny black Toyota LandCruisers sped by, each emblazoned with the logo of CARE International, the passengers comfortably hidden behind air conditioned smoked glass and oblivious of the threat to everyone’s safety that they were causing and quite obviously un-CAREing about the plight of the taxi driver whose car had just been damaged.

After they had passed, the driver retrieved the remains of his mirror, and we all continued to shuffle our way towards the edge of the city. The officials of CARE International presumable were off somewhere to “defend dignity” and to “fight poverty” while the rest of us were left to live our real lives to the best of our ability, without the benefit of a police escort to take us through the chocked traffic that is so much a part of the daily grind of Ghanaians who reside in Accra.

The actions by this organization are not surprising to most citizens in this country and the 69 others in which it operates, but it should give cause for concern to those people overseas who make donations to CARE. In 2009, the total contributions totaled in excess of US$700,000,000. Somewhere in the zeros, this organization has lost respect for the people that they say they are out to assist. Apparently with all those zeros, their time is much more valuable than that of the rest of us.

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