Post # 75
I’m not sure if this was said, but I’ve been researching this for a few days and it sounds like this a not-so transparent charity attempting to get funding. Less than 20 percent of the funds raised actually go to Africa from my reasearch. However, I didn’t read all these posts and could be wrong.
Post # 76
@KristenGotMarried: Thank you for pointing out the amount of damage that organizations like TOMS do to local economies. Consumerism always seems to be the easiest way to support a cause and people tend to not do an ounce of research.
Great points by a few of the PPs on how much harm this campaign can cause and has caused. I used to work in international development and I am still highly involved with the community in other ways. I know no one who works in this field and supports IC. These are people who live and work in Uganda and South Sudan, their have a real understanding of what is going on in the countries and are not university students darting off to ‘Africa’ for a few weeks because it’s sexy.
It is not as simple as IC would like us to believe it is. These are complex issues that cannot be solved by removing one person. Our way of doing thing is not always the best or always the answer.
Good intentions are NEVER enough, there needs to be solid reasoning for what’s being done and I fail to see that here.
Post # 77
@Mrs_Amanda: Exactly! Thank you for understanding. I’m afraid I come off sounding crass and uncaring, but I am not. Sometimes our hearts can be in the right places but our minds are not…
Post # 78
@mrs_pugetsound: thats not crass or uncaring at all.
Essentially, people are demanding that we send our troops in to someone else’s civil war and put them in a forced position to SHOOT CHILDREN.
Thats not something we should ever, ever just jump in to because we saw a video on facebook.
Post # 79
I’m really having a hard time reading this thread because it’s very close to my heart. The past few days have been an emotional rollercoaster to say the least. I’m tunning out.
Post # 80
These are people who live and work in Uganda and South Sudan, their have a real understanding of what is going on in the countries and are not university students darting off to ‘Africa’ for a few weeks because it’s sexy.
If I coud say *this* 10 million times without being annoying, I would. There was actually a presenter at a conference I was at last year who did an entire talk on the culture of well intentioned college students and for-profit voluntourism companies coming in to countries with little to no understanding of culture, needs, or government and social issues. She said it was no different from the missionaries in the 1800s who invited themselves on to Indian land to “save” them, and she was dead-on. She definitely hurt some feelings, and on one hand, I don’t see anything wrong with someone saying “I want to go to Africa”, but admit that its about you thinking that going to Africa is cool (I’m the first to admit. haha, it IS cool) and not some selfless act of charity because people there “need” us. If people from other nations said that about us, we’d be livid – and rightfully so.
Post # 81
If you’re concerned for these children but wary of the Kony 2012 campaigne, know that there are many other charities you can donate to! My favorite thus far is “schools for schools”. You can guarantee an education for those children who have escaped such armies and whose families have been displaced. Help these kids become self reliant!
Post # 82
Whats with this not being able to see recent posts? Am I the only one?
NVM: Now, I see them.
Post # 83
@liz.couture: Please don’t tune out. Whether or not we agree, your opinion means more to me than anyone elses in this thread. I would rather you participated in the discussion.
Post # 84
I am not really supporting Kony 2012 but it did make me realize we have a lot of our own problems here in the US just by reading peoples discussions and I’d like to do something to help here with our problems. I don’t donate money though but I can donate my time.
Post # 85
Id just like to add that I dont fully support Kony 2012; I think it needs awarness but im not for our military going over there etc…. I agree that in order to help we should by other organizations etc.
Ive always been one for “working on our own problems first” but i also realize the importance of helping others. I feel thats alot of the worlds problems to date. No one cares anymore…. about anything; the people close or far away!
Post # 86
@MrsRuby: OMG THIS. People think I’m crazy for thinking that way.
Post # 87
@mandypop: +1000 for the “for profit-voluntourism!
Sorry for the slight detour as I know this is a Kony Based thread..
We call it poverty tourism, and it drives me cuckoo. While I understand the seemingly well intentioned ideals, to the people of the countries its a different story. They don’t always find it helpful for the “White in shining armor” to blow in for a week or so, help build a house or some other charitable task and then check out.
Example: My husband and I grew up in Christian circles and went to a Christian college. My husband was infuriated at the “missions trip” mentalities and poverty tourism that so many people thrived on. He is an Argentine , and it was incredibly offensive to watch students fly to South America for an Alternative spring break deal, to get the obligatory picture with a “brown baby” ( a professors term, not my own) , feel good kind of thing that within a few weeks your back to your first world problems. There is no follow up or dedication. ( some people may be inspired and dedicate themselves in a more permanent way – which is fabulous ) While it was wonderful to have friendly, positive youth to sacrifice their time , it doesn’t help solve the problems. Its almost like a tease.
He is not against missionaries or people desiring to help, but what needs to be realized is that they need people who will give up their lives, possessions, language and lifestyle to permanently live in their culture , assimilate and contribute to a local community. Long term help. They need education, training, and resources so they can function on their own in the unique socio/economic system of the area.
Post # 88
I don’t consider that a detour at all because the mindset is the SAME. “We know whats best for you and you need us to help you!”
Its so important that your husband express how offensive it is.
The “Alternative Spring Break” thing KILLS me. If you go to a country to work with impoverished populations for 2 weeks and then leave, thats called A VACATION. There is absolutely no way that in 2 weeks to a month you are helping in any sustainable way, and its unlikely that you know the culture and the needs enough to help in a meaningful way.
The problem I run in to is communicating that to college-age folks without sounding like a total bitch. Its not their fault. The only reason I know this stuff is because at one point, I bought in to it! And then I attended a WHO conference, and got put in my place.
Speaker after speaker after speaker – from countries alllll across the globe – Bosnia, Chile, Haiti, Sudan, Uganda, Mozambique, etc. etc…. all saying the same thing… STOP sending us your college students. STOP setting up NGO’s when you’re not even from this country. STOP sending us your used or discarded crap without thinking about who will use it and how it will be used. STOP sending people here for a month to do something that makes them feel good about themselves, pose with pictures of our children, and then leave.
Each country has its own very specific needs, but the overall theme was the same – we get to tell you what our needs are, not the other way around. And especially in post-colonial African nations, what they continue to ask for is masters-degree level educators and health care professionals (experienced doctors, nurses, physical therapists, speech pathologists, neurologists, psychologists) who are willing to go down there and stay down there to train people FROM that country to do things themselves. Thats sustainable development, THAT is what makes a difference.
Post # 89
@mandypop: + a million!!!