The hugh famine in Africa urgently requires generous cash donations. Every donation to the leading NGOs will be matched, dollar for dollar by the Australian government.
We are seriously obligated to provide aid in times of famine and disaster. Otherwise, does aid really do good? Does it do harm? Really, change needs to come from within a country itself. Instead of charity, new trading patterns and clever arrangments that reward a struggling country must be the way of the future and that takes leadership and will. Our 'guest' working visas could be in that direction.
Ties of friendship and good will with folk overseas are wonderful yet limited. Belief in a small catalyst that gathers momentum is a difficult notion. Outsiders impose and establish foreign services that demand hugh long term support that may become unavailable.
And this rant is coming from one who has volunteered and who favours social justice.
How many countries have a burgeoning middle class along with those in adject poverty? In numbers and in affluence these middle classes are far bigger than our own population. In one light it is absurd to undertake charity work in a country that can well look after its own if there was the will to do so. We have hugh potential to establish more equality and overcome poverty and allow a decent standard of living to be extended. What happens in the meantime? Is that where charity comes in?
Will it be change in the West instead of charity? Is the financial crisis lowering our high unsustainable standard of living and making way for others to have a fair share? Then the crisis will not be in vain.