“This cup of pure water has funded one litre of clean water in Africa.”

I got this cup on my recent Virgin Atlantic flight back to the US (I went home for Thanksgiving for the first time in two years). Business class passengers got a bottle of One Water.

Virgin Atlantic is big into aid and charity at the moment. Just before landing, they showed a several minute long video about the new projects they’re funding, specifically one called Free the Children. They’ve got several more, too, in case you feel motivated to give on your way out.

Most people on the flight probably thought that this was a valiant effort by Virgin Atlantic to give back. I, on the other hand, was a bit appalled. I’m wary of celebrities, big corporations, and other influential groups promoting aid because they are often uninformed or misinformed. Take Virgin, for example. They most likely believe that purchasing One Water for their flights is helping poor Africans with no clean water. I wonder if they know that all the proceeds from One Water sales are given to PlayPumps. And I wonder if they know how PlayPumps turned out.

I appreciate your effort and good intentions, Virgin Atlantic. But I would actually rather have you make no effort at all than support something that I tend to think does more harm than good.