…beneath the upbeat story that More than Me told about itself – and that news outlets like ours told about More Than Me – was a darker story. Over a period of several years, one of the charity’s key founding staff members, Macintosh Johnson, allegedly had raped or assaulted as many as dozens of girls in its care. Meanwhile, Meyler and the nongovernmental organization had distanced themselves from the scandal, going on to take over 18 schools across Liberia and draw accolades from the world’s most influential philanthropists, according to an exposé published last week by Time magazine and the investigative news nonprofit Propublica.
Where to put the blame for what happened, indeed, remains a major question here. For some, the scandal is a warning against the often unchecked power of foreign charities in Africa. It “reveals our warped tendencies to glorify foreigners for swooping into poor countries under the guise of doing good,” wrote the political commentator Robtel Neajai Pailey in Al Jazeera this week.