Tuesday, December 18, 2007

looking a gift goat in the mouth

ethical gifts are all the rage these days with many of my friends and acquaintances. indeed, my housemates and i decided this year that instead of exchanging tchochkes, we would pool our $10 maximum and buy some bees from heifer international.

this morning, the bbc posted a story suggesting that while we may feel better about doing something like this, the recipients of our beneficence may feel patronised and demeaned.

"Charity director Ceri Dingle claims this is a prime example of how aid workers do not take into account the dreams and ambitions of people in developing countries. She says: "Giving someone a grasscutter to feed their family reinforces the assumption that these people are not like us. "Would you like a grasscutter for Christmas? People in the developing world are like us - they know the sorts of things we have and they want them too. Giving these things assume they want to continue to scrape by on the land. Survival is not development.""

the rest of the story is here.

o dear o dear o dear.

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