Friday, January 14, 2011

Student humanitarian aid?

Photo courtesy of Doctor of Record
Here is a question: do medical student trips to developing nations do any good?

Although this has been on my mind for some time, it was brought into focus by an article by Crystal Hayling from The Center for Effective Philanthropy (I actually read it on Saundra Schimmelpfennig's blog Good Intentions Are Not Enough - highly recommended). The post in question was about a family who travelled to Cambodia to build a library and some houses. They were disgruntled when their project was taken out of their hands and directed by the local folk. Ms. Hayling astutely asks "Whose Volunteer Experience Is This Anyway?"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

On "taking care of our own first".

Lately I have been seeing chain posts from some of my FaceBook acquaintances questioning why we send billions to "foreign" countries when we have poor, sick, starving people in "our own" countries.

Of course, individuals are free to contribute towards whatever (legal) cause takes their fancy, so I assume the issue under debate here is governmental aid contributions.