Thursday, April 21, 2011

Why Pictures Like This Make Me Mad

I think some NGOs spread this toxic message across the Western world that Africans are these poor pitiful people just sitting, crying, and waiting for Westerners to come save them.

Africans are not helpless. They don't need hand outs- they need programs that will empower them and give them the chance they need to succeed.

The people we work with are beautiful and joyful no matter their circumstances. They are not sitting around crying and depicting them that way just takes away from their beauty and negates the importance of their strong spirit. 

Are Westerners lacking such compassion that we must paint lies to motivate them to care? Must we depict these people as helpless and make the donor feel like a savior to get people to look outside of themselves? Do we have to make moving videos and post powerful photos and write cry inducing blogs to get people to move into action? Do NGOs really need to put 50% or more of their money into awareness in order to make Westerners stop being so selfish? Why do we have to make social action 'cool' with popular T-shirts and celebrity models?

This is the picture i'd rather you see. One of our kids smiling. Strong. So resilient. And with the potential to accomplish so much. 

P.S. If you ever see Kelsey or me start to slip into this mentality please call us out on it. Thanks :)

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to say I appreciate this post! Africans are beautiful and strong people.