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:

Chad:   Boko Haram Members Sentenced to Death (news)
Leadership
29 August 2015

Government of the Republic of Chad has sentenced ten members of the dreaded Boko Haram group to death on terror charges. [read more]

Afrique:   Apporter un soutien psychologique aux réfugiés (press release)
Medecins Sans Frontieres
28 August 2015

Ces dernières semaines, les attentats perpétrés par Boko Haram dans la région du Lac Tchad ont connu un regain d'intensité, et ont été ... [read more]

Chad:   WFP Continues to Support Sudanese Refugees in Chad (news)
United Nations World Food Programme
8 August 2015

Since 2003, when millions of civilians fled their homes to seek protection from violence in Sudan, Chad has become home to more than 400,000 Sudanese refugees. WFP is still providing them with food ... [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com'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...