Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Part 1 - Capacity building vs. Creating unnecessary desires

Conversation between Charlotte, Sean & Sarabe

Part 1 Charlotte:
(This's just part of the series on fighting adverse effects in capacity building: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Key takeouts)

just wanna share something with you two...yesterday in the evening time I had a casual meeting with a young student, who pointed out something shocking to me, although I'm not sure she was saying that because she really thought so or because she was disappointed that our program was not up to her expectation:

"be careful not to create unnecessary needs among the already poor Indians. I don't know their culture or their society, but are you sure it will help them make a living by teaching them HK-style cooking? think about it, for example, there's currently no such snacks as 'fish ball' in India, but if you bring it in via the project, then you're creating unnecessary desires and products within the community...similarly, teaching them some computer software will also let them see the world more and that will only increase their hopelessness/disappointment about their own poor situation. " she also talked a lot about the harm of careless volunteering...etc

obviously she has a point about the importance of need assessment and really matching their needs, but I found myself unable to agree with her world-view that "being ignorant is better than having desires to strive for" because seems it already assumes the poor is destined to be poor......what do you guys think?


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