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The problem with little white girls

(17 Posts)
thatbags Fri 01-Aug-14 21:12:59

A very good article about western 'helpfulness' in developing countries. The Peace Corps is the US equivalent of VSO.

Elegran Fri 01-Aug-14 21:42:35

One of the things that those who really want to help could take on board is the need to work out exactly what is the best way they can contribute for those who need it. Money, yes, practical help, yes, but just being there and being willing does not necessarily do anything useful.

As the writer says, the skills to build, teach, diagnose and treat illness and co-ordinate work are what is needed. If the bricklaying that these girls were doing was dismantled overnight to be done properly, their "help" just caused more work.

Part of the preparation that organisations do beforehand should include finding out what will really help and train the volunteers for it, or select them for their abilities. There is a lot of goodwill there, but it needs channelling.

Lilygran Fri 01-Aug-14 22:15:03

VSO is sending older people with skills that are needed in the area they are sent to. Even retired people! I believe other organisations do the same.

WBundecided Fri 01-Aug-14 22:34:08

A lot of the problem is started by companies going into fee paying schools and persuading students and parents that a trip to work in an orphanage in a developing country will look wonderful to university admissions tutors. It wont, and the only people who gain are the companies who charge extortionate amounts of money to take Jasper and Sophie to the third world, but in a clean sanitised way. If a person really wants to help or volunteer, then what is wrong with helping at a local refuge, or a drop in centre, or a soup kitchen? I am not saying that help should only be given in the UK, but one must question the reason behind the trip. If I was an admissions tutor, I would look more favourably on someone who had taken soup to people who live on the streets, rather than someone who had paid to be in Africa, spending money that would frankly better be given to charities who know what they are doing.

mollie65 Sat 02-Aug-14 06:53:40

don't like the 'little white girls' description in the title hmm
it is patronising and divisive - so they are little and 'girls' (no boys then) and they are 'white' (no ethnic minorities then)

absent Sat 02-Aug-14 07:09:03

mollie65 Did you read the blog?

mollie65 Sat 02-Aug-14 07:20:52

yes I did read the blog !
I was objecting to the gransnet title given by the OP - just my pov.

mollie65 Sat 02-Aug-14 07:22:31

if the words had been in quotes - that would have been preferable.

Grannyknot Sat 02-Aug-14 08:18:31

It's merely taken from the title of the blog given by the Huffington Post - which includes "boys" and something about "voluntourism". It's been doing the rounds on Facebook and Twitter so clearly has struck a chord with many people.

thatbags Sat 02-Aug-14 08:24:08

It was that phrase about little white girls in the title of the blog that mademe look to see what it was about. There had to be a good reason for that use of 'irony'. There was.

Another beautiful example of how easy it is not to understand subtleties in print which one would (probably) understand in face to face speech.

rosequartz Sat 02-Aug-14 09:10:30

The Gap Year is Big Business could be a better title, plus looking at it from the angle that WBundecided describes.

Possibly our GVSO scheme is better; a friend did this years ago and was at least qualified to teach the children at the school where he was sent.

As for white girls sailing through police checks etc - well, they are lucky. As a middle-aged (well, elderly) white woman I am always stopped and searched, patted down etc at airport security, handbag often searched and sniffed by a dog wagging his tail like mad.. Is it just me? I must just look vrry susoicious.

rosequartz Sat 02-Aug-14 09:12:20

Not drunk at 9 am, just getting used to this little stick.
Very suspicious.

rosesarered Sat 02-Aug-14 17:31:06

Maybe you are just insanely attractive roseq? I never get patted down these days.

Galen Sat 02-Aug-14 18:13:24

I do, because the metal detector is useless with me as I have so much metal work. Bionic woman, that's me.
And my dentist says it's a good thing I'm not or a swimmer or I'd drownhmm

rosequartz Sat 02-Aug-14 20:57:47

Maybe you are just insanely attractive roseq
Well, of course, that could be why, I never thought of that blush prettily!!

No seriously, never by a handsome young male, usually a very brusque female, although last time at Heathrow the young woman was very nice, sympathetic and apologetic. I must just look suspicious .....
Perhaps it's the fillings in my teeth.

Penstemmon Sat 02-Aug-14 21:11:31

Always the underwiring in my bra causes the buzzer to go! I keep meaning to travel in a sports bra to see if it makes a difference!

rosequartz Sat 02-Aug-14 21:13:13

I don't wear an underwired bra!