"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

1.19.2011

so you want to be an aid worker...



Update: As you can see above, there's apparently a copyright claim on this video. When I posted it, the video was freely available for embedding on YouTube. I'll post the link if it reappears.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is so depressing as someone who is about to graduate with the masters.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 3:21:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh please reverse the situation and make it a black applicant trying to work in Africa.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 7:26:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just wondering, as a master's student in ID who very much DOES want to become an aid worker, how DO you do it? i mean, this is funny and all but a little condescending...if schooling and traveling don't prepare you, what does?

Thursday, January 20, 2011 2:04:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So all of those semesters TA'ing "African Poverty and Western Aid" at Yale are worthless!? Damn.

Fantastic blog. Keep it up.

Thursday, January 20, 2011 2:16:00 PM

 
Blogger texasinafrica said...

Anon @2:04, every aid worker I know says you have to be willing to work for free for a long time. Do you know about Alanna Shaikh's email list for questions about development work? Definitely worth joining - she can answer something like this.

Thursday, January 20, 2011 5:26:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice, but it could be much stronger:

- the part where you slowly realize that 'aid' and 'development' are nothing but colonialism and occupation in disguise;

- the anger you feel when you learn that 'aid' projects are nothing but power politics serving western and elite interests;

- the sadness you feel when you find yourself sitting in an office, working for a bureaucracy 60+ hours/week;

- the slow discovery that you don't want to work for anything that is funded by foreigners, because it is inevitably compromised.

Friday, January 21, 2011 7:16:00 AM

 
Blogger Uncle Carl from over in Africa said...

What is the "y-dar band?" I have been an aid worker for 30 years, and I don't know the answer. Help!
(And, no, I have not met Bono)

Saturday, January 22, 2011 1:33:00 PM

 
Blogger My Two Centuries in Africa said...

Oh, it's the "white arm band." That was hard to understand. Well, that's an example of what happens when you actually live and work in Africa. You miss news events that you wish you had known about.
I was in Zambia in 2005 when the initiative to Make Poverty History was launched. And I missed it! So, even 5 years later, I still didn't know about the white arm band.
In fact, I can't think of a single person with whom I work over here who has a white arm band. Funny.

Saturday, January 22, 2011 2:47:00 PM

 
Anonymous Michael Kirkpatrick said...

There is a lot of debate and discussion in the academic community and the professional aid industry regarding the effectiveness of programs and policies in developing parts of the world.

To read more . . .

Slacktivism in Africa | Independent Global Citizen
http://independentglobalcitizen.com/2011/01/19/slacktivism/

Sunday, January 23, 2011 11:45:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would add:

- are you interested in aid because you are an adventurist, 'Christian', or someone burdened with guilt in your own life (i.e. have never engaged in 'poverty' issues in your own community or born with a silver spoon) to which you are running away from

To the prior comments:

- the part where you slowly realize that 'aid' and 'development' are nothing but colonialism and occupation in disguise;

- the anger you feel when you learn that 'aid' projects are nothing but power politics serving western and elite interests;

- the sadness you feel when you find yourself sitting in an office, working for a bureaucracy 60+ hours/week;

- the slow discovery that you don't want to work for anything that is funded by foreigners, because it is inevitably compromised.

Monday, January 24, 2011 11:38:00 AM

 

Post a Comment

<< Home