If you want to help dark-skinned people in a foreign land, helping people can actually hurt them, and that's even assuming you are confident. And to make matters worse, most of the people who volunteer for such endeavors are starry-eyed idealistic white girls from the relatively affluent families.
Read all about it in this Huffington Post opinion piece.
LOL stupid white girls these days
Sadly, taking part in international aid where you aren't particularly helpful is not benign. It's detrimental. It slows down positive growth and perpetuates the "white savior" complex that, for hundreds of years, has haunted both the countries we are trying to 'save' and our (more recently) own psyches.
I take a bit of offense to this part Unseen,
Especially if you are a white girl.
I get where you're coming from, but I think it would be better stated,
"Especially if you're a white ignorant American."
There. I like that better.
There. I like that better.
I bet you do. However, it is generally white females with few skills volunteering for these things and the few white guys are just hoping that if they act all concerned, they'll get to go to bed with those white girls.
These cultures don't need our volunteers unless they are bringing real expertise. Otherwise, giving them the money would probably help them more by not only building schools and hospitals, but by creating jobs and pumping $ into their economies.
However, it is generally white females with few skills volunteering for these things and the few white guys are just hoping that if they act all concerned, they'll get to go to bed with those white girls.
How do you know? What about the retired couples who are now dedicating their time to being missionaries through their church? Or the corporate execs looking to add brownie points so they can brown nose their way into a higher position? It's not JUST (or even generally) ONLY white females who do these kinds of things. It's ignorant Americans in general that go to other countries in hopes of making a positive difference.
I think it really goes back to the old proverb: "Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." The people who go and feed for a day - well, perhaps they are blind to their lack of understanding of the problems they are facing. Are they Idealistic? Yes. So? I agree with the article that was written. Completely. I just don't like your generalization that it's a "white girl" issue.
I just know guys.
One of my favorite proverbs:
if you build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a night. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life...and he'll keep you warm, too, while you roast your marshmallows.
US Peace Corps: almost 2/3 female, 93% single, 100% starry eyed idealists. As a guy, dream come true.
Wow I guess I joined the wrong Corps huh? HAHAHA
I was in the coastal infantry which was 98% guys (thus 2% field mattresses for officers), 99% single, and 100% bitter. Mind you, not a volunteer army.
Germans are quite nice... unless they are marching... ;)
Wait... are you trying to tell me that starry-eyed young people are really just trying to feel good about themselves, and that horny men do noble things because they're trying to get laid? Poppycock.