When does aid do more harm than good?

As I work to get better at posting here more often, let's throw a hat-tip and a link over to someone better at it than I am. 

Each month, our campus chapters participate in an online chat as part of their Global Awareness Program, meant to give them a chance to engage with and learn about international issues. Next month, they'll be looking at all of the ways aid can do more harm than good, and why it's important to recognize how and why that happens. 

So I was thrilled when a friend sent me Richard Stupart's post on Matador Network about seven of the worst international aid ideas (albeit from 2012). And I know we've all had our fun with the million t-shirts campaign and 50 Cent, and that TOMS is starting to change its model, but for many of our students, this is still new -- and I can't wait to share it with them. 

See Stupart's article here -- and if you're interested, here are the other articles our students are responsible for reading this month: 

Educated Women Are Less Vulnerable, Right? (WSJ)

Fast Company Profile on Blake Mycoskie

Why Can't We Sell Charity Like We Sell Perfume? (Dan Pallotta, WSJ)
(Alternatively, his TED talk)

 

The First Post

Tizita, 15, an STF Scholar in Ethiopia who shares my birthday and occasionally, this same semi-confused look. (Photo by Kate Lord.)

Tizita, 15, an STF Scholar in Ethiopia who shares my birthday and occasionally, this same semi-confused look. (Photo by Kate Lord.)

When I was growing up, online journals were a thing. It was cool to have a space online, in the public forum, where you could spill your innermost thoughts and teenage angst and then allow -- nay, encourage -- the world to read them. If I remember correctly, mine was bright pink, and the emoticons were small hamsters. 

I find it infinitely more difficult to write in the public sphere now, but I'm here all the same. I blog and/or edit posts on shesthefirst.org fairly regularly about our sponsored students and my travels to visit them, but sometimes, the topics I deal with as an advocate for girls' education aren't tidy enough to fit into the sphere of STF. So this is where I'll put those thoughts -- the messy, the not fully formed, and the still-percolating. Don't expect them too often, but when they're here, feel free to add your own, whether in the comments or by sending me an email.