Thursday, February 4, 2010

Aid is Power. Who Do You Want to Empower?


By Yifat Susskind

In the immediate aftermath of the catastrophe earthquake in Haiti, the first question everyone asked was: How can I help? Many people believe that donating to a large relief agency is the best way to help Haiti. In fact, those agencies do have a critical role to play, though, the problem is that most big relief operations are designed to swoop into a crisis, deliver services and leave.

After the big agencies leave, local people are no more knowledgeable, self-reliant or resilient than they were before. Therefore, it is crucial to help people respond to the next disaster and move toward real development.

One of ways that you can help is to support organizations that reinforce the activities of existing community groups. Too often, big international agencies temporarily set up shop and inadvertently undermine local organizations by attracting their best staff, driving up rents and ultimately weakening the very organizations that communities need for long-term recovery.

Click here for the full post