Poor hungry children in Africa don't want your help

James Shikwati of Kenya argues convincingly how western attempts to aid Africa are causing devastating economic damage, keeping African economies from developing and keeping them dependent on foreign aid.

(Link thanks to Ron Garret.)

Comments

Anonymous said…
Well I think your WRONG!!!!! There are poor and starving children there and you're just telling us to LEAVE them?!?! You must be nuts. They NEED our help and I'll do anything I can for them!
Anonymous said…
Well I know your WRONG! These poor kids are anorexic and staving and your just telling us to LEAVE them!?!? I'm going to do what ever it takes to help these poor kids. I was born in Africa and I'm going to help my people.
denis bider said…
Help today only leads to new generations in need of help tomorrow. People must be left to learn how to organize and feed themselves. If not, they will always require someone to feed them.
Anonymous said…
to mr denis.

seriously dude. wtf?? they cant find food for themselves. if you havent realized. but honestley, i think you know they do and you just want to stand out... well hun. there are defferent ways.

i agree with the two above me.
denis bider said…
And why is it, Mr. Anonymous, that they cannot find the food for themselves?

How come that the food was plenty, allowing a population boom to take place, when Western powers were keeping order in these former colonies?

How come that the food (and much else, too) all disappeared once the locals took over?

Most other places on Earth can feed their people, except Africa.

Africa is unable to do so because they cannot figure out a way to organize their societies to function at a level of efficiency that was possible when they were colonized.

As James Shikwati says, a strong part of the reason why a functional societies do not develop is because of the large influx of external "help".

Us Westerners just can't stop meddling, can we?

Leave the poor people have their countries to themselves, and let them develop stable economies.

Flooding their markets with billions of freebies each year surely won't help with that.
Anonymous said…
All I want to know is where is the fathers of these children, you never see them around when these pictures are taken and if you do, they are not healthy. Why not give some type of birth control to these women who are not able to feed the children they already have??? When someone answer these questions, I will be more than glad to make donations. And...why are they only feed corn?

The media/sponsors only picks the worse looking kids and flood our TV with them...is this just to get donations?

Please educate the fathers and mothers how to stop making babies and looking for others to take care of them! Is this their only form of recreation?
Anonymous said…
i'm quite sure it's not that they are unable physically and mentally to find food.. they cannot find food because there is no food! they don't have enough money to generate good soil for growing crops so they may be able to feed themselves..
it's not like here where you just run around and put your resume in all the shops you can in hope to get a part-time job so you can go to the movies with your friend's on the weekend.

they have war.
they have slavery.
nothing is just there.

you cannot say they are being weak, i'd seriously love to see you try it out.. here, you are spoon fed too much - and you have no idea what it means to lift a finger and work for yourself.
and i don't mean, going to school, and university, and making thousands of dollars a year.. i'm sure if they were able to that themselves, they would..

they do not have the opportunities you have.. they do not have a much freedom in choice because everything is so limited.
stop being greedy, stop being self centered and think of others before yourself sometimes.. hey?

you see many children without their father's because yes, many of the children are abandoned.. it's not the childs fault.. and many of them don't have parents because they have died.
many of them live with their grandparents, who are obviously too old and unwell to help
and many of them live with nothing but themselves and whatever shelter they can find..

i can't believe this forum even exists.

i believe in myself.
i believe in a better way.
denis bider said…
Anonymous - you are focusing on the challenges that individuals face in such environments, instead of focusing on why their environments are the way they are.

The bad environments that these people live in, the environments which you described, are subject to two major forces: the people themselves, and external influence.

The people who live in these environments are like the walls of a building. External forces, such as foreign aid, are like a hurricane that demolishes the walls.

If we keep applying external forces, such as providing vast amounts of food and aid, this just keeps tearing down the walls of their society, faster than they can be built.

And this, in turn, leads to perpetual suffering and hunger.

Which is something you'd like to avoid, if I understand your message right.
Anonymous said…
WHAT?! well i may be only 8 but Mr. Denis that isnt' true!Of COURSE they need our help!In fact... my school is doing operation Christmas child! You think thats nothing?Their people are dying !Would you like it if you died or starved or even if some guy like you believed we should let them DIE?! if you were african I would help you.You would be glad right??
denis bider said…
Operation Christmas Child:

The question is not whether I would appreciate your help if I were someone in need.

The question is whether your help helps me resolve a temporary issue and become independent (in which case, gee, thanks!) or whether your help causes me to depend on you instead.

One time help is just that, it is help. But help and help and help and help... breeds dependence.

This is what happens to people who are helped for too long. They come to relinquish their independence, and start to depend on help.
Anonymous said…
Well, I completely agree with you. We need to be teaching these people ways to help themselves - that would be the greatest help they'd ever get. It's like that saying, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
Anonymous said…
Its not an either/or. Like some have pointed out with give a fish, teach to fish, there are immediate needs that need met and long tern needs that need focus I live in poor Appalachia and a lot of people feel the same about some of my neighbors.
denis bider said…
I should add that I feel a lot of help is being misplaced towards people who others believe can be helped, but who in fact cannot, because the state of their existence is determined by a hereditary lower average IQ, and a low average IQ does not allow a group of people to function on the same level as a higher IQ group of people.

I think this is the case for most of Africa, as well as Appalachia.

Unfortunately, it is very hard for many people to accept that human beings do exist on a scale of varying development, and that there are differences within the human species, much like there are differences between other species on Earth. Such well-intentioned, but misguided people are the cause of misplaced aid, which overall hurts more than it helps, because it's based on an untrue model of the human being.

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