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Reisverslag Speech and beans
15 december 2014
Speech and beans
The funny thing with these beans was, that when we came home, the beans in the bag had started growing! From most of the beans a little green stem could be seen as the start of a new plant. I gave a few of those beans to my grandparents. They cleverly put the beans inside, as they were much used to the warm Malawian climate. After a few weeks, the beans were evolving into little plants and gradually grew bigger and bigger. Little flowers started to show up which then evolved into rinds in which new beans were growing. Now the plant became quite high and the first beans have already been gathered! So now we are able to eat Malawian beans (although by accident)!
I will attach the pictures on which you can see the plant growing and the little flower evolving into the "rind" in which the little beans are growing.
Next to the beans story, I would like to tell you that my little sister (14) gave a speech at her secondary school. Every year there is a speech competition for second and third year students and so she made a speech about volunteer work. Together we went from the idea to a speech based on the recent negative articles on volunteer work. She wanted to show her fellow students that volunteer work can nevertheless be very good and that it is necessary indeed. I am proud to say she used my stories in it and I hope she will get a good grade for it.
Here you can read her speech. Some thought for the mind indeed. Enjoy!
Too much of a good thing
Imagine you are in a poor country in Africa, like Uganda or Malawi. You help the children with building a school and you play with them. After some weeks you go back home with a happy face because you helped other people with your knowledge and hands. You made their life a little bit better.
This sounds wonderful don't you think? But there are a lot disadvantages about volunteer work. I want that everybody think about it, that it isn't always good, you have to know the consequences. Of course I will also tell you the good things about it. That's what I am going to tell about now.
People learn a lot from volunteer work abroad: they see with their own eyes how other cultures work, they learn to become independent, to speak other languages, to make friends and to get to know themselves. They also help other people building hospitals, schools or houses. Some people even give lessons for the children and others just play with them to make them laugh.
My sister went to Malawi with a good friend of her. She went there for 6 weeks. She helped building schools, houses and bathrooms. She wrote a blog when she was there and now she still does because she wants to create awareness and inspire people. She also wrote a blog about the consequences from volunteering and she is very aware of it. I really appreciate that she did that.
I will tell you why volunteering work isn't that good as it looks.When my sister drove along the road in Africa with some other people from the Netherlands there were a bunch of girls that shut their eyes for the huge garbage belts they drove past, caused by the excessive consumption of the Western world, the garbage that they dump in Africa because they do not want to cope with their own waste.
Another group of teenagers becomes so emotional upon seeing these poor children that they instantly give away a variety of things which are either not needed, or a form of charity. And charity is not good. There is a variety of reasons why not but the most important one is that we should not make the people in Africa dependent on us, the white people. We should either buy the things we give them in their countries so that their economies profit from us, the relatively rich teenagers. Or we can ask them a small favor and then give something in return. Because if we always give them something, without asking something back (like charity), these people will learn to depend on white people, and will start begging for money while they could be at work. And that is a big problem for much people.
White people are often not aware of the consequences of giving away things without reason. Obviously, if people are really starving, it would be morally good to give them some rice and vegetables, but we could instead, give them fertilizers, seeds, instructions and a water bucket to make them grow the food themselves. Thereby giving them a source of income as well as something to be proud of instead of giving a short-term solution.
Indeed, there should be a change in volunteer work abroad. It should be organized by locals and for locals. We have to move away from the image of a white Western leader with a group of black workers. Instead we should work together. A local project could employ both local volunteers as well as international volunteers, who then learn from each other. Money should not just be given as money, it should be given as micro credits, in the form of animals as the organization Heifer does, or it could be given in the form of a training. This would benefit the whole community, not just the individual.
After all, it is the poorest of the poor that need our help. We should not stop doing volunteer work, as it both helps far away communities as well as creating awareness in Western countries. But it should not benefit us more than the people abroad.
Foto's bij verslag (6)
15 december 2014 21:14 | Door: Opi en Omi
Wat een fantastisch verslag, zo uitgebreid en waardevol. Petje af voor Sylke.
De bonen van Freya hebben het goed gedaan, 5 gepoot en nu hebben we er 25. Volgend jaar een nieuwe aanplant.
18 december 2014 18:43 | Door: Yvonne
Wat zijn jullie een kanjers! Liefs Y.
18 december 2014 23:09 | Door: inge
mooi opgeschreven zo met de foto's erbij. onze bonenplanten zijn buiten opgegeten door de slakken. groetjes Inge
7 januari 2015 13:17 | Door: Maartje
Dag Freya en Anne,
Hierboven vroeg ik vorige maand of jullie een korte vragenlijst willen invullen voor mijn onderzoek naar vrijwilligers in het buitenland. Stom dat ik mijn contactgegevens er niet bij heb gezet! Mochten jullie toch nog mee willen werken, wil je me dan een mail sturen naar firstname.lastname@example.org? Dan stuur ik de vragenlijst per mail naar jullie toe! Je mag er ook samen één invullen als je dat fijner vindt.
Ik hoor graag van jullie!