Do no harm : Western volunteers and self-perception among school children in post-war Sierra Leone
ABSTRACT Volunteering in Third World countries is a modern trend. People, from all over the world, and of all ages, are devoting their time helping others to escape poverty. This help however, is often the source of additional problems, creating more challenges to overcome. This paper is meant to tell every person with the will to help others to “do no harm”. The idea of all the NGOs sending volunteers to remote parts of the world is to improve the lives of people who have less possibilities than we do, living in the western world. However, each volunteer comes with their own ideas of the world around them, their own ideas of what is their role in helping people living in totally different culture. Volunteers often disregard the differences between themselves and their new surrounding. Then consciously or subconsciously these westerners are imposing on the local communities certain behaviours or way of thinking. Most oftenly harming people by making them dependent on the western aid and western ideas of “good” life. This paper is meant to show how a group of kids at small school in Freetown (Sierra Leone) are being influenced by those western ideologies.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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