Tag Archive for 'Children'

Money Doesn’t Build A School

This isn’t the story of how donations built a school. Donations don’t build school. Watch the video to see what I mean.

 

From Riots to Aid: The Impact of the Social Lens

Nathan Kotylak - Water Polo All Star

Meet Nathan Kotylak. A few weeks ago Nathan was a rising star. He was the best water polo player in his school, he was training with the Canadian national water polo team, he earned a scholarship to one of Canada’s best universities, and he was on track to be one of Canada’s Olympic athletes in a few years time.

But that all changed in about the time it takes to make a tweet.

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“Lying” in Aid & Development

Last month, I wrote a blog post about negatives attitudes to NGOs in Bangladesh. I’ve also talked about how these negative attitudes can be avoided by being a “free agent”, emphasizing blood ties, and respecting and understanding Islam.

I’d like to elaborate on that last point because I recently stumbled on this video:

Before you click play, I should probably point out this video is not for everyone. At the very start of this video, the Imam suggests that all non-Muslims (with a particular emphasis on Israelis) are liars.

It’s also important to note that this particular Imam, has got in trouble in the past and has been accused of hate speech. But, honestly, what he’s preaching would not be out of place in many conservative villages in Bangladesh.

Traditional Islam has a strict standard on what is and is not considered a lie. There is no such thing as an “innocent white lie”. Moreover, the penalty for lying is severe and can incur the wrath of God (including the afterlife – Qu’ran 4:145).

“Fear Allah, and be with the truthful.” (Qu’ran 9:119)

In the strict interpretation of Islam, even hyperbole is considered a grave lie (i.e. “I called you a million times!”). In fact, as the Imam points out, even wearing colored contacts or dying your hair is a form of dishonesty.

But how does this pertain to aid and development? And why does not being a NGO or charity seem to help foster greater trust in more conservative villages in Bangladesh? Find out after the jump

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One of My Favorite Photos

Connecting Communities

Children in Barguna, Bangaldesh watch YouTube video responses of people who told me to provide this village with clean & safe drinking water. Clean water project implemented with Save the Children.

You can see the full video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJubQzKYMGg

The Beggar Children of Main Street

The Beggar Children

We ten interns had more or less just landed in Uganda.  It was Day Three, and we were touring Jinja on foot.

Imagine.  A parade of mzungus meandering around downtown, fingers pointing, and heads on swivels.  With stomachs full of matooke and rice, we took our time digesting as we strolled along the broken sidewalk.  Shopkeepers called out, hoping that their wares could draw our attention.  Boda-boda drivers offered us rides on their bicycles or mopeds.  A third group called us too.  Three small children, around five or seven years old, quietly implored, “Sirs, 100?”  They were asking for a meager 100 shillings, and we had just spent 8000 on lunch.  Surely we could spare the equivalent of 6 American cents.

Before we could respond, our program director shooed them away in their native language.  Many of the interns were heartbroken.  I know I was.  Here is a little kid, malnourished and poorly clothed, and all he wanted was a nickel.  That’s not too much to ask.  I could have tossed him the coin and moved on.

But, as our program director explained, it is not about the amount of money.  It is the principle.  You can only effect serious change by striving for sustainability.  What will that boy do when we leave?  Who will care for him then?  Any change that you try to initiate must be able to last without your input.

It was only the third day, and I felt like I was already being taught how to rationalize away the most vulnerable members of society.

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Working to Help the Poor in Rural Bangladesh

Before you can help – you have to listen. That’s exactly what I did in my latest episode on YouTube. This video is essentially part two of my video on The Young Hardworking Poor of Rural Bangladesh.

Some photos and details after the jump.

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The Young Hardworking Poor of Rural Bangladesh

Child Labor - Welding in a Garage

If poverty could be eliminated solely by the hardwork and determination of the poor, then third world poverty would have ended a long time ago. The poor in the developing world are some of the hardest working people on the planet. In my latest episode on YouTube, I once again point out something I learned long ago: the poor aren’t lazy.



More photos and details after the jump.

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