ne-revez-pas said:

Hello, I saw you comment on a post about how missionaries in developing countries are ruining the cultures/societies of their people, and it really intrigued me. You see, I am about to go on a trip to Nairobi this coming June with the organization Me To We. Me To We is not religious and I'm not a religious person. But, while there I will help build a school and learn about Maasai culture. Do you feel that service trips without the intention of converting/teaching people are still alienating?

I am radically against service trips where people go to “build schools” (or other facilities) in a developing countries, and I find them to be incredibly disempowering and paternalistic at their core. It all boils down to stroking the (usually white) egos of the volunteers to make them feel like “good people” and does NO longterm good for the community.

I just wish people thought more critically about international development and saw through the smoke screen of “aid” that many of these “development” organizations put up as part of the white savior industrial complex. Like it just seems so obvious to me that an organization that goes through all of the logistical and human effort needed to bring “volunteers” to build schools in ~*aFriCa*~ has values that are fundamentally not aligned with those of their communities. They do not have the best interest of locals at heart, at all. 

If they cared about the community, they would be building out local capabilities and talents rather than trying to make a quick buck from western volunteers. They wouldn’t be bringing in untrained (usually) white people from the West without any language skills or understanding of local cultural intricacies to a community that is most at need. Rather than siphoning resources toward making white people “feel good” about themselves and aligning their values with white supremacy and white savior-dom, instead they would be working to give that exact same business to local carpenters and construction workers. Or, worst case, they would bring in people using those same dollars to train community members so that they develop these critical skillsets for themselves and their community at large. Why not actually work in solidarity with a community and build together to improve and develop local capabilities in the longterm? Why must we instead center the white gaze and destructive paternalism, which is disempowering and harmful and only has one longterm impact: making the Western volunteers “feel good” about themselves for “saving the Africans”

It makes me sick.

I also think it’s just so indicative of the deepset narcissism that lies in white supremacy and Western global hegemony that somehow we think that we can “build a school” better than people who are actually from that community. You know the ones who intimately know their needs and those of their communities, far better than the volunteers swooping in for 2 weeks to “save” them. How sick is it that we presume that “expanding our global horizons” can come at any cost, including undermining the fabric of a community, breeding dependency, and pulling resources away from actually building out the longterm capabilities of the people in these communities? I discussed these topics at length with someone who worked in international NGOs for 7 years in Africa and who left incredibly jaded because she saw how the values of so many of these organization was focused on “more NGO, now” rather than doing the more important work of creating communities where the presence of NGOs fades progressively with time as these communities are empowered. 

The structure of the white savior industrial complex is one of disempowerment, damage and harm. Participating in it furthers this destruction and hurts these communities in the long run.

The vast majority of these international aid and development NGOs do not have our best interests at heart, and are simply there to make white people (and other Westerners) feel better for the “good deed” they did once in ~the third world~

It’s horrible.

Don’t give us aid, invest in Africa, AU tells world leaders

The continent says it is no longer keen on aid as a means of development. Instead, it wants investors to take advantage of the huge potential in the region as a more much sustainable driver of economic growth. And this time around, the leaders of the continent say they want to determine the sector where such investments would be channelled. (via Guardian News Website - Don’t give us aid, invest in Africa, AU tells world leaders)

"To live under neoliberalism also means to accept or submit to that bundle of rights necessary for capital accumulation. We live, therefore, in a society in which the inalienable rights of individuals (and, recall, corporations are defined as individuals before the law) to private property and the profit rate trump any other conception of inalienable rights you can think of.

The rise of advocacy groups and NGOs has, like rights discourses more generally, accompanied the neoliberal turn and increased spectacularly since the 1980s or so. The NGOs have in many instances stepped into the vacuum in social provision left by the withdrawal of the state. this amounts to privatization by NGO. NGOs thereby function as ‘Trojan horses for global neoliberalism.’ They tend to be elitist, unaccountable (except to their donors) and by definition distant from those they seek to protect or help, no matter how well-meaning they may be.

The universality presupposed in ‘rights talk’ and the dedication of the NGOs and advocacy groups to universal principles sits uneasily with the local particularities and daily practices of political and economic contexts.

This appeal to the universalism of rights is a double-edged sword. It may and can be used with progressive aims in mind. But the limited objectives of many rights discourses makes it all too easy to absorb them within the neoliberal frame. Universalism seems to work particularly well with global issues such as climate change and other such issues. But its results in the human rights field are more problematic, given the diversity of political-economic circumstances and cultural practices to be found in the world. Furthermore it has been all too easy to co-opt human rights issues as ‘swords of empire.’

—  David Harvey, ‘A Brief History of Neoliberalism.’
PLEASE HELP by reblogging this for a friend!

Hello, my name is Angel and I’m a bit crazy. I would really like to help a friend in need. I have an emotionally abusive, awful family and get depressed all the time, and I especially hate when others have similar situations. And this stuck out to me in particular. Poor awesome-cabbage is a sweet blogger, I’ve said a few things to her and she just seems so energetic and I cannot help but try to take action on her situation. She needs to move out and I kinda know how she feels because if I could, I would get my ass out of here too. But she is in a worse situation. She needs money and she’s trying to take donations. Well, I wanna help her!

As someone who’s struggled, I don’t want to see this kind girl be anymore hurt than she already is. Please help me so I can help her (: I am a jeweler. Not very popular but if enough people reblog this, maybe people will see it and this can work. Until the end of July, half of all commssions, purchases, etc I get for making jewelry will go straight to her. I have a jar set aside and will do what I can. This is wether or not people mention where they found me. If people reading this decide to help, then by all means I will do this. If random people buy something, half will still go in.

I desprately want to help her and I do not have a job so this is all I can do so please help! My wire jewelry is reasonably priced and I love being given projects.

If you don’t want to buy anything please donate to her straight from her tumblr by clicking the link to her blog I posted!She could really use it. EVEN A DOLLAR WILL HELP :)

My instagram is more frequently updated than my blog for jewelry but both are pretty equal right now. 

Links! VV

Thank you so much and please feel free to ask me about commissions. (: -Angel

A Mighty Girl Water Wheel. (Facebook)

When Cynthia Koenig, a young social entrepreneur from New York, learned that millions of girls and women around the world spend hours each day collecting water from distant sources, she decided to create a new way to help people in poor communities transport water and it’s called the WaterWheel. Koenig’s WaterWheel allows people to roll water in a 50-liter container versus carrying it in 5 gallon (19 liter) jugs. Koenig estimates that the WaterWheel can save women 35 hours per week in water transport time, as well as prevent the physical strain that comes from balancing 40 pounds of water on top of their heads for hours each day. [Rest.]