To me the name Zoe's Ark charity sounds like a cult. The kind that round up people on the streets and, by using various mental manipulations, (starving, humiliation, cutting off from the real world) manages to bend their wills to make them believe their leader as the second coming of Christ, or perhaps in this case Noah.
Arch de Zoe, the French translation, is an example of development work at its worst.
Nothing is worse than a charity who shows up in a developing country without any plan, except maybe one with a really bad plan.
Did they just assume it would be easy to find some orphans, get the papers done, and fly the kids back to France? Perhaps, if your someone who's never been to Africa and is filled with visions of starving orphans, such a plan might sound plausable?
To me it sounds like some nightmare from Pinnochio.
Adoption is not that easy. It takes more than some ragtag group rounding up kids and putting them on a plane. It requires painstaking paperwork, months, sometimes years of planning, and the go ahead from all sides. Most importantly, it requires kids who don't have loving parents already!
I wonder what fate actually awaited these children in Europe?
Was it the adoption process the Zoe's Ark charity claimed it was.
Was it forced labour? Indoctrination into some suicidal Zoe's Ark cult? Prostitution?
Or perhaps, as the Chadian dictator suggested, it was to sell black market body parts.
The French aid worker's proclamations of innocence are laughable. The insistence that they were duped into thinking the kids were actually orphans. Their hunger strike. How stupid do they think the public are?
Psst... We know the French government warned Zoe's Ark to stop. Therefore, without the French government's blessing, how could the kids possibly be assured paperwork for France?
Even if the public got past that and believed the Zoe's Ark workers were duped, why did they try to make the children (who weren't even orphans) appear injured, in casts and bandages, despite not being hurt at all?
It all rings with the ideology of the blind cult faithful leading their fellow members into destructive oblivion.
People in Chad were in an uproar that the aid workers might receive leniency. They ended up with eight years hard labour.
In my honest opinion, the sentence was fair. Any less might have seemed lenient, any more might have seemed a tad harsh.
I wonder though. Did they receive a fair trial?
It's hard to say.
What's considered fair when all the evidence points to obvious guilt of a serious crime?
While eight years of forced labour won't be a walk in the park, they should feel lucky that Chad didn't serve them with more Draconian punishments.
Shame on you Zoe's Ark. Your either criminals, or idiots. In either case, I have no sympathy.