French charity's plan to rescue Darfur 'orphans' may be worst aid idea ever

From Aid | The Guardian Wed Dec 5 2012, 08:18:47

Pair behind Zoe's Ark mission to smuggle Sudanese children to France refuse to attend trial and fail to pay damages

Over the years, there have been more than a few occasions when well-intentioned do-gooders from the western world have come to Africa to make a difference - and completely cocked it up. Think of Jason Russell and the Kony 2012 campaign. Sure, YouTube loved it, but its popularity came at the expense of entrenching negative stereotypes and advocating very dangerous, simplistic solutions. Eventually, the campaign degenerated into farce. Kony wasn't caught, but Russell was - stark naked and allegedly masturbating in public, an incident from which Kony 2012 never recovered.

Or take Jason Sadler, another starry-eyed American and the unfortunate brain behind the "million T-shirts for Africa" idea. He had never been to Africa but he wanted to help, so he came up with this scheme of getting people to donate their second hand T-shirts and shipping them over. A few problems, as outlined by pretty much everyone who knew anything about Africa: believe it or not, just about all Africans, even the really poor ones, already have a T-shirt. In fact, lots of Africans rely on producing or selling T-shirts to make money, so an influx of free shirts would seriously damage their business model. And who's going to pay for the shirts to be transported and distributed, money that would be far better spent on aid that actually works? In the end, before it caused any real damage, a humbled Sadler was forced to abandon his idea.

My personal favourite terrible international aid idea comes courtesy of [view whole blog post ]

 See More    |     Report Abuse

People and Organizations:

You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Sénégal:   Dakar - Reprise du procès Habré (news)
Deutsche Welle
8 February 2016

C'est ce lundi que commencent les plaidoiries des parties dans le procès Hissène Habré. L'ancien président Tchadien comparaît devant un tribunal spécial ... [read more]

Sénégal:   Début des plaidoiries de l'ex-président tchadien Hissène Habré (news)
Algerie Presse Service
8 February 2016

Les plaidoiries au procès du président tchadien déchu Hissène Habré ont débutés lundi devant un tribunal spécial africain à Dakar qui le ... [read more]

Sénégal:   Reprise du procés de l'ancien chef de l'etat tchadien, ce lundi - Habré, acte II (news)
Sud Quotidien
8 February 2016

Après deux mois de suspension, le procès de l'ex-président du Tchad, Hissène Habré, devant les Chambres africaines extraordinaires (Cae), pour crimes contre ... [read more]

blogAfrica is's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!

Today's Featured News
Mozambique Ruling Party Faces Tough Contest

Renamo supporters: Ruling Frelimo faces a stern challenge at Wednesday's polls from...

Surge in Central African Republic Violence

African Union troops in Bangui (file photo): The UN has expressed alarm...

Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana Get Crucial Wins

Asamoah Gyan of Ghana (file photo): The Super Eagles have boosted their...