I have been home this week, a winter bug of sorts, aches and pains and running fever on and off. I tried reading but concentration was difficult.
So I resorted to watching television.
I never watch daytime t.v. it feels frivolous ! Just the way I am . I rather be doing something rather than be a passive viewer.
Whichever channel I watched ,every few minutes there were adverts from charities, especially from children’s charities ; and they showed the most dire images of pot bellied emaciated children and they were all black African.
I remember watching these images in the 1980s and the late seventies. And who could forget the famine in Ethiopia, and the report by Michael Burke which prompted Bob Geldof to organise live aid. That concert and the sale of the CDs raised millions if not billions pounds.
One would have imagined that all that money and the subsequent constant fund raising would have made some improvement to the lives of those poor children.
Obviously not. The same dire and painful images are constantly shown on the t.v. by British charities and the demand continues.
Meanwhile Africa has made great economic strides. Kenya has the most thriving tourism and Nigeria has oil. The images of Africa we don’t see are the thriving cities , wide roads and sky scrappers with thriving business.
So has the child welfare been left to the western charities? is it because it helps our charities thrive as business , so they don’t want to give it up while wearing the mantle of being the do gooders?
There is certainly is wealth in those countries, didn’t we hear of “Gucci Grace” who shopped for £75,000 in one day in Paris. so it is not that those countries don’t generate money , it is not spent where it should.
I have direct debits for a few charities , and I try and give whatever I can ,but i would like to hear that some change has happened due to mine and the charities efforts.
Looking at the images, they are same they were some 30 years ago, there is a new addition of a little black girl who is not emaciated but is in danger of early marriage.
Shouldn’t this change come from within? Shouldn’t our charities be helping those countries to sort out their own problems? Their own cultural issues? Would our giving money will change their centuries old customs?
It seems to me that while Africa has progressed and moved on, they have left their child welfare to our charities , surely that is not good for anyone is it?
The timing and the channels were interesting too, most showing old movies , the Asian channels had most of these adverts.
So the daytime/afternoon audience is targeted who will probably not question and be more compassionate.
It is a kind of emotional blackmail in my opinion.