Wainaina created these three videos as a response to his essay “How to write about Africa.” He offers an emotionally charged, but well supported take on how many NGOs and donors are affecting Africa. This is a 100% must-watch set of short clips if you want to understand how to best help those in developing nations. As Wainaina implies, helping in itself may not be the best method of creating positive change for the poor. Helping to provide opportunity for someone to make their own change may be the best practice in poverty alleviation.
Wainaina stresses the importance of African agency – the reality that Africans have the ability to express what they need and want, and to make changes for themselves. I will continually remind myself of this while I am trying to create an opportunity for the women at the Red Cross. What they want matters more than what I want for them.