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(Huffington Post)   Silly White Girl or: How I learned that I am useless at foreign aid and love staying the fark away so professionals can work   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 166
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12792 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Jul 2014 at 7:41 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-28 06:00:37 PM  
The Problem With Little White Girls, Boys and Voluntourism


This would be a nice place for an Oxford comma.

/Or just leave out the "Boys" in the title.
 
2014-07-28 06:21:32 PM  
First World Problems. Literally.
 
2014-07-28 06:43:05 PM  
The funny thing is she just assumes people are as stupid as she is and sign up for any old thing without for a moment considering whether they can do the thing they signed up for. Turns out the author is just a moron.
 
2014-07-28 06:59:27 PM  

Contrabulous Flabtraption: The funny thing is she just assumes people are as stupid as she is and sign up for any old thing without for a moment considering whether they can do the thing they signed up for. Turns out the author is just a moron.


She assumes there are other people who have money and send their kids to do humanitarian work so they will be well rounded world citizens.  She is trying to explain to these people it is more effective to just send money, than to send your little snowflakes to do sham work to make them feel better about themselves or to enlighten them on the virtue of hard work.

Just because you aren't the target audience doesn't mean there isn't one.
 
2014-07-28 07:44:21 PM  
Being white has nothing to do with it.  It's tourists thinking that they can fix the world in a few days.
 
2014-07-28 07:45:10 PM  

haemaker: Contrabulous Flabtraption: The funny thing is she just assumes people are as stupid as she is and sign up for any old thing without for a moment considering whether they can do the thing they signed up for. Turns out the author is just a moron.

She assumes there are other people who have money and send their kids to do humanitarian work so they will be well rounded world citizens.  She is trying to explain to these people it is more effective to just send money, than to send your little snowflakes to do sham work to make them feel better about themselves or to enlighten them on the virtue of hard work.

Just because you aren't the target audience doesn't mean there isn't one.


This. Consider how many earnest college kids want to sign up for various humanitarian causes to feel like a better person or because it looks great on a resume to say you helped the plight of some blighted people, yeah, they need to be told to knock it off.
 
2014-07-28 07:47:19 PM  

haemaker: Contrabulous Flabtraption: The funny thing is she just assumes people are as stupid as she is and sign up for any old thing without for a moment considering whether they can do the thing they signed up for. Turns out the author is just a moron.

She assumes there are other people who have money and send their kids to do humanitarian work so they will be well rounded world citizens.  She is trying to explain to these people it is more effective to just send money, than to send your little snowflakes to do sham work to make them feel better about themselves or to enlighten them on the virtue of hard work.

Just because you aren't the target audience doesn't mean there isn't one.


Plus, she's a Biddle, and her target audience knows exactly what that means.
 
2014-07-28 07:49:07 PM  
I wish she wouldn't focus on her skin color being some part of her identity. It had nothing to do with the fact that she sucks at carpentry or whatever she volunteered to do.

I want her to have a hero who she can relate to - who looks like her, is part of her culture, speaks her language

This is farking horrible.
 
2014-07-28 07:50:23 PM  
If you're so bad at it that you wind up causing more harm than good, yeah, stay home but otherwise why not help out, even if it's babysitting or some such thing even dumb-ass white chix can do...
 
2014-07-28 07:53:31 PM  

moothemagiccow: I wish she wouldn't focus on her skin color being some part of her identity.


especially after she makes is clear that the black student with her class trip was also called "white girl" -- obviously "white" is synonymous with "American" (or, possibly, "rich").
 
2014-07-28 07:54:26 PM  

haemaker: Contrabulous Flabtraption: The funny thing is she just assumes people are as stupid as she is and sign up for any old thing without for a moment considering whether they can do the thing they signed up for. Turns out the author is just a moron.

She assumes there are other people who have money and send their kids to do humanitarian work so they will be well rounded world citizens.  She is trying to explain to these people it is more effective to just send money, than to send your little snowflakes to do sham work to make them feel better about themselves or to enlighten them on the virtue of hard work.

Just because you aren't the target audience doesn't mean there isn't one.


I know so many people who do orphanage voluntourism and it makes me cringe every time I hear about their trips because they have no discernible skills that they could use for a two week trip. They have no business working with children and have no idea about sustainable development but think that their very presence is going to benefit the country. Never mind that going as a normal tourist and spending tourism dollars would help more than what they're doing.
 
2014-07-28 07:55:29 PM  
Nice read. Thank you subby.
 
2014-07-28 07:56:04 PM  

Contrabulous Flabtraption: The funny thing is she just assumes people are as stupid as she is and sign up for any old thing without for a moment considering whether they can do the thing they signed up for. Turns out the author is just a moron.


I'm thinking that there are indeed, quite a few people just as stupid as she is.
 
2014-07-28 07:56:22 PM  
Performing good dimg.fark.neteeds while white is a form of white privilege. Have you checked yours today?
 
2014-07-28 07:56:58 PM  

God-is-a-Taco: Performing good d[img.fark.net image 462x257]eeds while white is a form of white privilege. Have you checked yours today?


Of course, after 20 failed posts the one where I copied it in wrong is the one that makes it through.
 
2014-07-28 07:57:39 PM  
So, substantively, nothing whatsoever to do with skin color. What a jackass she is.
 
2014-07-28 07:57:58 PM  

Snarfangel: The Problem With Little White Girls, Boys and Voluntourism

This would be a nice place for an Oxford comma.

/Or just leave out the "Boys" in the title.


Meh. I stopped reading right there.
 
2014-07-28 07:58:57 PM  

God-is-a-Taco: Performing good d[img.fark.net image 462x257]eeds while white is a form of white privilege. Have you checked yours today?


This makes me think of the King of the Hill episode when Peggy freaks out because Hank is complimented on how nice the lawn looks and she didn't have anything to do with it, and she forces her way into putting her stamp on it, probably wrecking it in the process.
 
2014-07-28 07:59:05 PM  
She comes from a traditionally generous and powerful Quaker family and the activities on her part are not surprising in the least.  It took her a few trips as a teenager to figure out that "just showing up and trying" is not sufficient.  I'd say she will carry on her family legacy just fine.
 
2014-07-28 07:59:17 PM  

haemaker: Contrabulous Flabtraption: The funny thing is she just assumes people are as stupid as she is and sign up for any old thing without for a moment considering whether they can do the thing they signed up for. Turns out the author is just a moron.

She assumes there are other people who have money and send their kids to do humanitarian work so they will be well rounded world citizens have something to put on their college applications.


FTFY

Gotta get that precious snowflake something spiffy for the appilcation, or he/she may not get accepted to Brown.
 
2014-07-28 07:59:27 PM  

LibertyHiller: Plus, she's a Biddle, and her target audience knows exactly what that means.


Yeah, it says something when your family tree merits its own wikipedia entry.
 
2014-07-28 07:59:37 PM  
I always wondered about these humongous mega churches where I live (Texas). They arrange these big mission trips, and I have pondered whether they'd do more good for their cause by saving their money on airfare, supplies, etc and just cutting a nice big check to the recipient organization.

I'm not anti-volunteer....I have a regular gig at the information desk at my local hospital. I fully acknowledge I'm not changing the world by telling a visitor that their dad is in room 204 and how to get there. But, I realize that I am the first person most visitors talk to upon entering the hospital, so I take it seriously to leave them with a good first impression, and maybe ease a tiny bit of their stress by making sure they know where they're going. So, yes, volunteer within your ability level. (Honestly, the "being sociable" thing is a little bit of a stretch to me, given my day job as an engineer, but at least it's within my abilities.)
 
2014-07-28 07:59:50 PM  
She's more comfortable servicing people closer to home.

Nothing wrong with that.

Home is where my unit is.

/what?
//apartment unit
///relax
 
2014-07-28 08:01:01 PM  
Is she blonde? Is she 19?Does she leave a trail of blue and black? Can I replace her drunk old man?
 
2014-07-28 08:01:04 PM  

rynthetyn: haemaker: Contrabulous Flabtraption: The funny thing is she just assumes people are as stupid as she is and sign up for any old thing without for a moment considering whether they can do the thing they signed up for. Turns out the author is just a moron.

She assumes there are other people who have money and send their kids to do humanitarian work so they will be well rounded world citizens.  She is trying to explain to these people it is more effective to just send money, than to send your little snowflakes to do sham work to make them feel better about themselves or to enlighten them on the virtue of hard work.

Just because you aren't the target audience doesn't mean there isn't one.

I know so many people who do orphanage voluntourism and it makes me cringe every time I hear about their trips because they have no discernible skills that they could use for a two week trip. They have no business working with children and have no idea about sustainable development but think that their very presence is going to benefit the country. Never mind that going as a normal tourist and spending tourism dollars would help more than what they're doing.


I don't know, in those places a lot can be done with little to no skills. It doesn't take a carpenter to swing a hammer or assist with moving items. Even plowing and sowing seeds doesn't require a masters in agriculture. Most American's are educated enough to be able to teach people to read or assist with basic learning.

A lot can be done in those areas that all it takes it a willing hand.

And tourist money doesn't mean it will go to the people that really need it, especially in places with high income disparity. It just doesn't trickle down and usually only goes right back into international pockets.
 
2014-07-28 08:07:32 PM  
Daughter Courage
 
2014-07-28 08:13:48 PM  

skyotter: especially after she makes is clear that the black student with her class trip was also called "white girl" -- obviously "white" is synonymous with "American" (or, possibly, "rich").


Did you see the photos? Halle Berry IS white compared to those people. Westley Snipes might fit in, but obviously the US has a much more expansive definition of black than some countries.
 
2014-07-28 08:15:28 PM  
If I never hear the word "voluntourism" again, it will be too soon.
 
2014-07-28 08:16:41 PM  

Bucky Katt: Being white has nothing to do with it.  It's tourists thinking that they can fix the world in a few days.


This.
I'm black and have other younger black friends who think they can fix everything
 
2014-07-28 08:18:45 PM  

spamdog: Contrabulous Flabtraption: The funny thing is she just assumes people are as stupid as she is and sign up for any old thing without for a moment considering whether they can do the thing they signed up for. Turns out the author is just a moron.

I'm thinking that there are indeed, quite a few people just as stupid as she is.


There are vast numbers of people who are just as stupid as she is.

"Voluntourism" is becoming quite a thing these days, on a par with ecotourism, and it is incredibly toxic to local economies for exactly the reason this little cupcake mentioned: It would have been more cost effective, stimulative of the local economy, and efficient for the orphanage to take our money and hire locals to do the work, but there we were trying to build straight walls without a level.

Across America (and the free world), there are thousands of well-meaning charities who send people to "do the work" for local causes, under the impression that because they WANT to do good while doing well, the results will therefore be good. But often they are not. In this case, the library took twice the effort, likely cost twice the money, and probably (because of the way it had to be unbuilt and rebuilt) isn't as structurally sound as it should be and is probably not being used. More could have been done if the American muscle was used to get local authorities to get out of the way of the orphanage personnel, find out who were the corrupt officials in the area and apply some carrot&stick democracy, and pay the workers to build the damn library.

This little blogger has learned something valuable at a young age, something many charity workers never learn: Being willing isn't enough. The Western standard for volunteerism: "I am good at raising money, training volunteers, collecting items, coordinating programs, and telling stories. I am flexible, creative, and able to think on my feet. On paper I am, by most people's standards, highly qualified to do international aid. But I shouldn't be." is the same standard that sent most of Jerry Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority into Iraq.

No, a LOT of people go overseas wanting to help out, build buildings, paint walls, plow fields and take work away from local workers who could really use the money. It's paid immigration we think they should be grateful for, the White Man's Burden on safari. So if Cupcake Voluntourist figured this out now instead of later, good on her.
 
2014-07-28 08:19:42 PM  
I used to volunteer on a regular basis at a community pantry. We cooked a weekly sit-down meal for 120 people. We handed out 400+ grocery bags. Volunteer nurses would give exams and advice. Social workers helped point people to appropriate resources. Homeless people who wanted to help with the work were welcome and we gave them job recommendations based on their performance.

A lot of people committed a lot of time, week after week.

And then we had drop-ins - company outings, school groups, and out-of-state kids bussed in by their churches. They would would come in for 1 hour. Not 1 hour per week. 1 hour in their lives.

There were actually kind of a pain in the ass, because we had to devote a lot of time to orienting the,.

But you what? We welcomed them. Because a handful of those people became regulars. And we assume more of them will regulars at some some other place and some other time.

Mostly our work was helping the disadvantaged, but we knew part of our job was introducing privileged people to service for others.
 
2014-07-28 08:20:35 PM  

Burning_Monk: I don't know, in those places a lot can be done with little to no skills. It doesn't take a carpenter to swing a hammer or assist with moving items. Even plowing and sowing seeds doesn't require a masters in agriculture. Most American's are educated enough to be able to teach people to read or assist with basic learning.

A lot can be done in those areas that all it takes it a willing hand.

And tourist money doesn't mean it will go to the people that really need it, especially in places with high income disparity. It just doesn't trickle down and usually only goes right back into international pockets.


Wait, did you read the article? It specifically said that a bunch of people with little or no skill other than willingness were doing such a shiat job that it made twice as much work for the local tradesmen who had to fix it every day. Even plowing can be done wrong. Habitat for Humanity's dirty little secret is that most of their dwellings are either torn down for being hazards or have to pull in actual contractors to redo things at each stage.

If you want to do some good, get some training beforehand. If a group visit is put together, that group visit should include at least a week of hands on and classroom study prior to the visit, along with language study, because a compressed timeframe and learning on the job don't mix. And leaving them without supervising tradespeople on the job is just asking for shiat work. The whole idea is completely useless feel-good crap, like wannabe hunters going out on Ted Nugent's "safari" where everyone's guaranteed a kill.
 
2014-07-28 08:24:50 PM  

Burning_Monk: rynthetyn: haemaker: Contrabulous Flabtraption: The funny thing is she just assumes people are as stupid as she is and sign up for any old thing without for a moment considering whether they can do the thing they signed up for. Turns out the author is just a moron.

She assumes there are other people who have money and send their kids to do humanitarian work so they will be well rounded world citizens.  She is trying to explain to these people it is more effective to just send money, than to send your little snowflakes to do sham work to make them feel better about themselves or to enlighten them on the virtue of hard work.

Just because you aren't the target audience doesn't mean there isn't one.

I know so many people who do orphanage voluntourism and it makes me cringe every time I hear about their trips because they have no discernible skills that they could use for a two week trip. They have no business working with children and have no idea about sustainable development but think that their very presence is going to benefit the country. Never mind that going as a normal tourist and spending tourism dollars would help more than what they're doing.

I don't know, in those places a lot can be done with little to no skills. It doesn't take a carpenter to swing a hammer or assist with moving items. Even plowing and sowing seeds doesn't require a masters in agriculture. Most American's are educated enough to be able to teach people to read or assist with basic learning.

A lot can be done in those areas that all it takes it a willing hand.

And tourist money doesn't mean it will go to the people that really need it, especially in places with high income disparity. It just doesn't trickle down and usually only goes right back into international pockets.


You're taking away jobs from local people. For the cost of your plane ticket the place could hire local laborers and put money into the economy. There's no shortage of labor, there's a shortage in funds to pay workers and your money will go a lot farther that way.

Also, as someone who grew up in a tourism driven economy and worked jobs where my income was dependent tourist cash, I'm calling bullshiat on the that tourism dollars don't get to locals. There were times that my ability to pay bills was based largely on how much crap i was able to sell to European tourists with more money than sense. It's the same way in the developing world, even more so because unless you're staying in chain hotels and eating chain restaurants it's all mom and pop businesses. People who do voluntourism don't spend the money that normal tourists do.
 
2014-07-28 08:24:59 PM  
The guilt is strong in this one.

I bet she's writing this drivel on a Macbook Air her daddy got her for graduation.
 
2014-07-28 08:28:30 PM  

drjekel_mrhyde: Bucky Katt: Being white has nothing to do with it.  It's tourists thinking that they can fix the world in a few days.

This.
I'm black and have other younger black friends who think they can fix everything


Well, let's hope that they (or someone) can fix something because there's a whole world of farked-up, and it's tempting to just sit back and watch that mo-fo burn.
 
2014-07-28 08:28:57 PM  

Gyrfalcon: No, a LOT of people go overseas wanting to help out, build buildings, paint walls, plow fields and take work away from local workers who could really use the money. It's paid immigration we think they should be grateful for, the White Man's Burden on safari. So if Cupcake Voluntourist figured this out now instead of later, good on her.


It's good that she works in a capacity where she can actually be helpful too -- administration and fundraising are important.

Really, if you want to help, becoming an expert in some useful field and going somewhere to teach and train with your expertise is probably more important than any number of things you could build using it. Become the supervisor on projects instead of needing one. Hell, carpentry and masonry are perfectly useful skills in the first world as much as the third.
 
2014-07-28 08:29:54 PM  
I always assumed that had to send a few of the author overseas to lure the male doctors that they actually need.

/does that make me a bad person?
 
2014-07-28 08:30:03 PM  

haemaker: Contrabulous Flabtraption: The funny thing is she just assumes people are as stupid as she is and sign up for any old thing without for a moment considering whether they can do the thing they signed up for. Turns out the author is just a moron.

She assumes there are other people who have money and send their kids to do humanitarian work so they will be well rounded world citizens.  She is trying to explain to these people it is more effective to just send money, than to send your little snowflakes to do sham work to make them feel better about themselves or to enlighten them on the virtue of hard work.

Just because you aren't the target audience doesn't mean there isn't one.


The only people that benefited from her trip is whoever pocketed the $3k for letting them stay in a hovel for a week, and work there for free.  I am sure that person was otherwise very honest and the people who organized that trip were not at all gullible.

50 years of "Great Society" later, trillions spent, and there are more destitute people than ever before.  "Charity" doesn't work.  Not even close.  It is so far from "almost working" that it would take the light from "almost working" about a thousand years to reach it.  Someone need to come up with a new idea for getting people out of poverty.
 
2014-07-28 08:36:11 PM  
There's this strange idea that people who live in western cities have a farking clue about living on the edge of nowhere.

Also, stop shipping containers full of crap over there. (There being anywhere they have a relatively stable currency, but extreme poverty.) Take that money and invest in WPA type projects, so the people you pay to clear ditches of standing water can buy food from merchants who can buy from farmers. Generate economic growth, do a little teaching, give out some vaccines. Maybe hire a well drilling company to drill wells. But seriously, stop giving out free food, especially imported food. You're discouraging farmers and making places dependent in imports.
 
2014-07-28 08:38:42 PM  
I have trouble taking anyone named Pippa Biddle ( of the Bailey, Banks & Biddles?) seriously
 
2014-07-28 08:39:05 PM  

drjekel_mrhyde: Bucky Katt: Being white has nothing to do with it.  It's tourists thinking that they can fix the world in a few days.

This.
I'm black and have other younger black friends who think they can fix everything


Don't worry, the world will beat the optimism out of them soon enough.
 
2014-07-28 08:39:56 PM  
While I'm hesitant to say that one should never try to expose themselves to helping someone less fortunate personally and to just send money, I can unequivocally say, never, ever send food aid.  It doesn't go where it needs to and on the rare occasion that it does, the food goes away eventually with no real plan to replace it.
 
2014-07-28 08:40:06 PM  

Burning_Monk: rynthetyn: haemaker: Contrabulous Flabtraption: The funny thing is she just assumes people are as stupid as she is and sign up for any old thing without for a moment considering whether they can do the thing they signed up for. Turns out the author is just a moron.

She assumes there are other people who have money and send their kids to do humanitarian work so they will be well rounded world citizens.  She is trying to explain to these people it is more effective to just send money, than to send your little snowflakes to do sham work to make them feel better about themselves or to enlighten them on the virtue of hard work.

Just because you aren't the target audience doesn't mean there isn't one.

I know so many people who do orphanage voluntourism and it makes me cringe every time I hear about their trips because they have no discernible skills that they could use for a two week trip. They have no business working with children and have no idea about sustainable development but think that their very presence is going to benefit the country. Never mind that going as a normal tourist and spending tourism dollars would help more than what they're doing.

I don't know, in those places a lot can be done with little to no skills. It doesn't take a carpenter to swing a hammer or assist with moving items. Even plowing and sowing seeds doesn't require a masters in agriculture. Most American's are educated enough to be able to teach people to read or assist with basic learning.

A lot can be done in those areas that all it takes it a willing hand.

And tourist money doesn't mean it will go to the people that really need it, especially in places with high income disparity. It just doesn't trickle down and usually only goes right back into international pockets.


"American's", hmm?

You could certainly help by donating an apostrophe or two.

Some children go to bed without any apostrophes at all!
 
2014-07-28 08:40:11 PM  
Silly Caucasian girl likes to play with construction materials.

p3.no
 
2014-07-28 08:41:49 PM  

foxyshadis: skyotter: especially after she makes is clear that the black student with her class trip was also called "white girl" -- obviously "white" is synonymous with "American" (or, possibly, "rich").

Did you see the photos? Halle Berry IS white compared to those people. Westley Snipes might fit in, but obviously the US has a much more expansive definition of black than some countries.


W. Kamau Bell had a guest on his show last season who was from somewhere in Africa and talked about becoming black when he came to the west. What's considered white or black varies by location.
 
2014-07-28 08:44:13 PM  

GORDON: 50 years of "Great Society" later, trillions spent, and there are more destitute people than ever before.


No, that's the absolute opposite of the actual truth. You're repeating one of the "big lies" that is being heavily promoted right now by some very unscrupulous people.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/06/economist- ex plains-0
 
2014-07-28 08:45:39 PM  
Watch out for Peace Corps chicks, they're nutters.

lh6.googleusercontent.com
 
2014-07-28 08:46:04 PM  

GORDON: 50 years of "Great Society" later, trillions spent, and there are more destitute people than ever before.


Not in the US (where the "Great Society" was implemented).

Do you always make shiat up to support your opinions?

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/01/13/whos-poor-in-america -5 0-years-into-the-war-on-poverty-a-data-portrait/

/Could certainly be better, but saying there is "more destitute" is an easily disproven lie.
 
2014-07-28 08:47:10 PM  

haemaker: Contrabulous Flabtraption: The funny thing is she just assumes people are as stupid as she is and sign up for any old thing without for a moment considering whether they can do the thing they signed up for. Turns out the author is just a moron.

She assumes there are other people who have money and send their kids to do humanitarian work so they will be well rounded world citizens.  She is trying to explain to these people it is more effective to just send money, than to send your little snowflakes to do sham work to make them feel better about themselves or to enlighten them on the virtue of hard work.

Just because you aren't the target audience doesn't mean there isn't one.


Nope. It's the first one.
 
2014-07-28 08:51:17 PM  

The Larch: LibertyHiller: Plus, she's a Biddle, and her target audience knows exactly what that means.

Yeah, it says something when your family tree merits its own wikipedia entry.


There is white, snow white, snow-blindness white and Biddle white. The scientific definition of Biddle white is, if you put a small patch of it behind the Sun, the Sun casts a shadow.
 
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