On Tuesday, 17 high school students from Mount Sentinel School in South Slocan travelled to Haiti to set up a farm in a local community –an aid mission. An unfortunate set of events later- a 7.3- devastating earthquake- and these students are left in Haiti possibly freaking out and scared. Their parents are probably in worse shape- and wanting them home asap.
My response? Suck it up and stay. If these students leave they will set an example as selfish people. Their mission was to give aid. Don’t run away at the time when they need aid the most.
On “foreign aide”: Individuals who go to foreign countries to try to help and come back thinking they are better people, by and large, are fools. Especially those who are overeducated people who are likely there to put something impressive on their resume so they can get into a good college and tell a great story of how they “helped” so many people.
If those students come back they will be mirroring the same thing- they will be considered “brave” for going to an impoverished place and surviving disaster. You know what? People in poverty face danger, uncertainty and death EVERYDAY. Foreign aid workers come in for a fraction of time to go in and get out with a great story and patting themselves on the back for “doing a good thing”. Foreign aid workers have the privilege of coming back to the comforts of the hegemonic world (or for some of you- “the First World”).
Now if you really wanted to help other places and do “development work”- you wouldn’t occupy other countries and think about the real detrimental result of the privileged lifestyles.
These students are “ready to work”- so I hope they stay and don’t take the easy way out.
As the news has reported, they are safe and well fed at their location- and they will be KEPT safe for the very fact that they are Canadian- A privilege that many Haitians aren’t guaranteed in their daily lives.
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