Controversial I know, but it seems I’m always in a controversial place. From the post you can tell that I don’t support aid agencies. I used to but not anymore. I’ve even sponsored a child with compassion before but canceled the sponsorship because I had to reduce my working hours and wasn’t going to manage the expense. However that is not the reason I do not support aid agencies. I should state that I do believe Compassion and some of the other organisations are doing an honourable job and that this post is by no means an attack on them.
The year I moved to Perth I saw a very interesting advert on TV, I can’t remember for sure but I think it was a save the children ad (Emphasis on Not sure), on helping a village in Zambia get clean water and what was annoying about the ad was that it showed a Masai man getting water out of a dirty well. It was definitely not a Compassion or World Vision ad. The truth is, Zambia has no Masai tribes…None! In fact there has only been an influx of Masai men recently, who happen to be mostly illegal immigrants, mostly coming to work as hair dressers. They do not have villages in Zambia. My question is, if you are out to help the Zambian people, why not show us the need that’s there? Or is it a case of we are all African anyway so it doesn’t really matter? A quick search in google and you can find out that the Masai are found in Tanzania and Kenya. I will not support an organisation that misleads people to get funds. Yes, Australian’s probably won’t realise the error, but as a sign of respect for the people you’re claiming to help and care for, put out right and accurate information.
That is a minor reason for my not rallying behind Aid agencies. The other issue I have is aid in general. While people are genuinely trying to help, I believe that, (and I speak for my country and won’t speak for others) there is a need for people within our communities to rise up and change the landscape of our country. I believe in giving short-term aid, what I don’t agree with is aid being given over extended periods of time because I am of the opinion that people stop fighting to improve their lives if what they need is provided for them. All the great economies of the world were built on adversity and hard work and as a people, our discomfort should cause us to want to do better.
The fact that Zambia is ridden with malaria should cause Zambians to get into research and find a way to eradicate it…not us depending on outsiders to provide us with the means to eradicate it at prices that we can’t afford. Our country is full of resources. We have a very good climate and rain comes every year, but do we capitalise on it? No…Our people are still living in poverty. I don’t want it to sound like I’m blaming aid for our failures, I just believe that unless we fight for the change we need, the same cycles will continue and only we can truly determine what we want. So at the end of the day, I do support honourable agencies like Compassion but on a different level. We need to rise up and change what we want changed.