I’m still on holiday break but I wanted to publish this guest post from “Tales from the Hood,” an aid worker-blogger who has provided many of us with great insights and perspective from inside the humanitarian industry.
“Tales” was posted anonymously, in part to avoid causing trouble for his organization or himself. But this was also because he cares about promoting knowledge and understanding more than his personal brand.
Tales is now moving on to new things, putting the blog to bed. I’m not alone in seeing this as a loss and so I hope to convince him to continue posting here on Humanosphere.
For a start, here’s his answer to my holiday query in which I ask if we are entering a new phase for humanity in which the concept of “charity” needs to be reconfigured and if we need some new lingo for these folks we call philanthropists, humanitarians or, worse, do-gooders.
Tales from the Hood:
Three things I wish more “ordinary people” understood about humanitarian aid:
1) It’s possible to do aid wrong. There’s always some woman at the Christmas party who, once she discovers what I do for a living, wants to talk my ear off about some awful idea she has about how to help poor children in El Salvador or Cambodia. She’s watched the Brian Williams “Make A Difference” segments, maybe Googled a few things, and now she’s got it all figured out. Then she gets somewhere between hurt and mad when I tell her that her idea won’t work. It’s clearly come as a surprise for her to learn that it’s possible to do aid wrong. Continue reading