Oxfam – this sort of thing makes me so angry!

I don’t know if you can see it clearly ?   I tore it out of a newspaper.  It is an expensive ad by Oxfam (ads of this size in The Telegraph, the newspaper in question) cost around £5000/$7000) begging for you and me to send money in so that they can help the poor of Africa.

No.  The answer is NO.  We have sent billions, seriously billions, in aid to Africa over the past fifty years.  And nothing has changed.  The poor are still poor, the starving still starve, outside medical help is still needed at all levels, there is gang warfare, violence, rape, AIDS, disease, disease and disease.  In the last fifty years all our billions in aid have changed very very little for Africa.

Not only that but these vast quantities of money create political power struggles within the African countries in question, as they all compete to get their hands on the dosh.

This tells us something obvious: we are helping the wrong way.

The governments of these countries must be forced out of their apathy.  We must lobby them in any which way we can in to making them be responsible for their own people.  Most African governments do not rely on the votes of their people for power, so they couldn’t care less what the people think about them.  The people themselves, poor and illiterate, cannot lobby their own governments.  Not only that but in several situations they get killed or tortured if they step out of line.  That is where help is needed, not in the never-ending supply of food and medicine (which frequently gets stolen en route) that just goes on decade after decade.

The African continent has enough arable land to feed the entire world.

If I am to give any money to charities for Africa I will give only in to a system which encourages an entente between African countries, which creates a liason between the places with desert and the places with arable land.  It will take decades, and in the meantime children continue to starve, but it is the way forward and the only way we should be helping.

How can you help ?  You can write to charities such as Oxfam.  You can write to the various African embassies around the world. You can make your voice heard on the internet.  We have enabled Africa to walk with crutches. Now we must enable them  to walk without.

Catherine Broughton is a novelist, a poet and an artist.  She is widely travelled and writes regularly for magazines and blog sites.  Her sketches are on her web site http://turquoisemoon.co.uk .  Her books are available from Amazon and on Kindle, or can be ordered from several leading book stores.

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Catherine Broughton is a novelist, a poet and an artist.  Her books are available as e-books on this site:-

https://payhip.com/b/tEva            “A Call from France”

https://payhip.com/b/OTiQ          “French Sand”

https://payhip.com/b/BLkF         ”The Man with Green Fingers”

https://payhip.com/b/1Ghq        “Saying Nothing”

They are also available on Amazon & Kindle, or can be ordered as paperbacks from most leading book stores and libraries.

Posted on 07/01/2013 by Catherine
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  • Bia Sobral

    What if those big european and american company that explore all the poor countries natural richness, from Hawai’ chocolate to Africa’s diamonds and oil, etc., start given their contributions like improving education for children, paying a properly salary for the native working people so they could feed the the family,
    and so on and so forth?

    • That would not be the solution. The poor African countries would have huge wealthy companies of their own (and some do) if the governments would start to look after their own people, especially with regard to education. Furthermore, most of the wealthiest people in the world make the biggest donations to poor people and poor places, and these big companies to which you refer provide employment for many who would not otherwise have any work at all. Some African countries have proved they can do it with good government. The other countries must follow, and follow soon.

  • Catherine Broughton

    It is great when the rich give to the poor – and many do!n fact the vast majority do! But that does not solve the problem. The governments of these countries MUST be responsible for their own people. When the rich help out – that is great – but the world should not depend onnn them.

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