Tuesday, December 23, 2008

CAUSE Kids: A Campaign to "Save" Africa

I don't usually post twice in one day but I just had to. Check it out.

"The perfect gift will not be under your tree this year, it will be in West Africa. Give the gift of lasting joy to an African family." (http://www.causekids.ca/christmas2008)

It's outrageous I know, but it is also a real advertisement. Targeted at "good" Canadian families who "really want to make a difference" and "help save Africa." Well, you know what? We don't need saving, let alone "lasting joy" from you! A couple of months ago, the New Scientist Magazine (not that I'm a big fan of science) reported a survey on the happiest people in the world and you know who they turned out to be? Nigerians! YES! Surprise surprise! NOT North America, or Europe or Australia, but NIGERIA! So really, African families don't need your gift of "lasting joy" ok? And then the BBC article on the survey says "The survey confirms money does not buy happiness." As if we didn't know that already. Unfortunately, CAUSE Kids is not the only problematic organization around. I see so many advertisements like these on an everyday basis calling out for people to help and save Africa. Most international and non-governmental organizations have very problematic ideologies that only feed and foster the oppression of people from non-western countries. And frankly, I'm getting really sick of it. If you want to take a look at the article on the survey I've posted a link below.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3157570.stm

1 comment:

karen said...

AGAIN, my women's studies tutorial. we had a discussion about transnational and transracial adoption. some white woman went to "africa" for TWO WEEKS (aka now she's a fucking expert) to work in an orphanage (the white liberal "african" spot of choice of course) and she went on and on about how NOBODY in africa cares about these kids so there's nothing problematic about it. she was there to make african kids happy!

i feel like i am digressing. i think the reason why people in "industrialised countries" have had a steady rate of happiness over the last 50 years (even though the middle class is shrinking and there is less and less stability with the rise of neoliberal economics in the late 70s) is because we are TOLD we are happy. we're told that because we live in the west, we are superior to the "other" and therefore live easier, better lives. billions of our tax dollars are put towards technological and scientific research in the name of "progress" and we stay complacent because we are told this will benefit us, even though the majority of families in the west see no tangible benefit. we're made to believe that public dissent towards the government or authority is a waste of time because rioting and protest is considered "uncivilized", and therefore the agents of power stay in power.

i am really rambling now.

ps. when you google that bbc link, your blog is the first result after the actual article! cool!