I’m as disappointed as you are that I’m about to criticise a woman who cycled across Africa to raise awareness of…well…stuff.
- You can’t just throw money at people and think that’s going to fix poverty. There needs to be skills transfer.
- Education is really important so women can read how to parent properly.
- It’s all about empowerment.
So glad you cycled across Africa to bring back those pearls of wisdom.
I think we have been suitably reminded lately that being fit doesn’t automatically qualify you to talk authoritatively on any issue of your choosing. And yet, this scenario persists.
I don’t think Kate Leeming’s instincts were atrociously wrong or stupid. But to imply that the reason why poverty persists in Africa is because NGOs are just throwing money at people, or that no one had yet made the connection between education and human development is a wee bit superficial and a bucket load of egotistical. Do you really think, Kate Leeming, that of all the people who work in Africa, trying to alleviate poverty (I’m sure you met a few of them), these particular ideas had not been thought of and tested before?
I suppose it is a good reminder that when you turn your mind to a new issue and assess the situation, your instincts might not be wrong, but they’re quite probably not original.