It was wonderful to hear such an articulate voice for a mindset that doesn't just affect Africa or aid organizations. I think it speaks to how we treat everyone that we consider to be less fortunate than ourselves. In Canada I've witnessed many nonsensical programs aimed at helping people with disabilities or facing some kind of crisis. I have been at the receiving end of some of them too! Most of these programs do not consider the input of people receiving services, and therefore do not really address their needs, or develop their potential. And because the needs are not addressed they get worse, and another program is invented, and so it goes. We waste so many resources and lives.
I trained to be a social worker. I didn't practice in the field for long because I realized it was going to be very difficult to actually offer real help. I could have made a nice living, but I started to feel like it would have been on the backs of the people I was supposed to help. I think most thoughtful social workers wrestle with this dilemma and I am not criticizing anyone who makes a different decision. But I couldn't do it.
What this story has done though is made me realize that I need to be more vocal in criticisms of the system. I am not a member of a political party, or a special interest group. I have nothing to lose.
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