Sunday afternoons are so rich in culturally educational programming, especially on public broadcast TV. For example, Full Frame is airing right now and I’ve learned about Angelique Kidjo. She speaks about her work in advocacy on behalf of her special interests with Unicef. The World Economic Society [name is inaccurate] has honored her.
During her interview, she talks about the aid that comes to the continent and countries of Africa. Missionary and aid work invade the land with their perceptions of what is good for the country and their desire to elevate the people. Her objection to these organizations is that they come into the countries and dictate what should be done by the people rather than entering the lands with a mindset of learning from the people what the people want and what the people need. This is something that has been underscored in other documentaries about other countries that have been deemed “third world” by outsiders. We need to see other cultures as being comprised of people who know what they have and want their goals and desires fulfilled. They do not want to be conquered; they want to be respected for what they are and what they have to offer in the global marketplace.
One of her causes is the education of girls. To that end, she speaks of the importance and benefits of educating girls and the numerous and widespread benefits that accrue to the civilization from their education.
These are points I attempted to discuss with a young minister who does missionary (malaria abatement through provision of mosquito nets and development of schools) in one of the African countries. Unfortunately, the minister was not willing to hear / read my words. One of the reasons why the message was not appreciated was because the words were misinterpreted. They were misinterpreted because they were misread. Perhaps they were misread because there was an assumption that they came from one who is not as qualified and therefore not worthy of being considered (at least, that was the message that reached me). Opportunity lost. Shared knowledge and awareness failed. Life goes on. The opportunity will arise for that minister again in the future. My desire is that the new words will be formed in a new, understandable way and the repetition will aid in having the message be successful or begin to prise the door of awareness further open.
At any rate, Full Frame followed the interview of Angelique Kidjo with an interview of Judy Collins and her work, also with Unicef. By this time, I’d been so inspired that writing of this post took priority and taking in Judy Collins’ interview got past me. But you can watch both interviews on Full Frame.
For more information on the subject of foreign aid, I offer you sponsored links with a recommendation to use them with critical thinking and reading skills in order to come away more informed.
- Full Frame: Unicef – Angelique Kidjo
- Countries of the Third World
- Developing Country
- America After Ferguson
- Elusive Justice