Wednesday, January 20, 2010

backing up my strong opinions

i found a new york times article that supports my thoughts on volunteering in orphanages in africa.  it takes a macro view of institutionalisation and how funding orphanages ultimately negatively affects the community.  instead of giving the money and other in-kind support to extended families, it is poured into orphanages staffed by 'strangers.'

read the article, it is much more articulate than i can be on this topic.  i have already forwarded it to friends who have expressed an interest in volunteering in africa.  they might be sick of hearing me go on about this in attempts to encourage them to revise their travel plans, but i really do feel strongly about it.

let me know what you think, i am curious to know if i am in the minority on this one.

1 comment:

k said...

I read the article and found it very informative. I think it is much easier to give money or time or resources to orphanages because we can measure our impact. We can hold up the success of the orphanage and say "look, THIS is what we did...THIS is success". It is measurable and it is "successful" in a way that we know how to measure it- the children have clothes, they have food, they have school- they have the "western" definition of success.

We can't take pretty pictures of the 6 children living in a hut with their grandmother who are getting extra funding because while they may have food and clothing and are with their family, it just doesn't look as clean and "successful" as the images of the orphanage.

I think we just need to think "outside the box" as to what success is when it comes to aid I guess.