They go to places where the need seems greatest, and where they might have the ability to help.
Stop Labeling Do-Gooders As White Saviors
Leila Janah
4910

I think that this is still problematic. Ivan Illich in his famous speech, To Hell With Good Intentions, said, “It is profoundly damaging to yourselves when you define something that you want to do as “good,” a “sacrifice” and “help.” I believe that this is true.

Are people going overseas under the guise of helping others but are really more motivated by the need to find more meaning in their lives? Also, what about the need for ‘do-gooders’ to recognize their own privilege and access to power and resources that allow them to do these trips in the first place? What about the importance of elevating local heroes and leaders rather than looking to outsiders of a community?

I agree that we must be kinder and understand the motivations (“good intentions”) of people who do overseas service trips, but I believe it’s also important and necessary to challenge them to check their assumptions about the work they’re doing.

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