Why handouts are outdated

(system) #1

By Alexander Carpenter

From small scale projects to HIV/AIDS programmes NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) charities and aid agencies are everywhere in the developing world. They are all the rage in the West too, and are seen as the good people who want to save Africa. But, however well meaning NGOs may be, their programmes often get up the noses of everyone, from African fishermen to shanty town inhabitants. Their idea of improving people’s lives by promoting the basics only are a far cry from the aspirations of those they seek to help. Serious development and growth is definitely not in the NGO dictionary. Shot in Ghana, Godbless, Waffa, Deroy and local fishermen and women are articulate and angry. They loathe the peanuts offered and sanctimonious lessons in good behaviour. They want industry, jobs and material advancement and for NGOs and aid agencies to stop treating them like children. As Godbless tells us: “Africans have big brains, big aspirations….and want to live in liberty.”

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/4161