Lately, I’ve found myself watching nothing but Netflix documentaries on topics ranging from unsolved mysteries to food. Recently, I watched one called Poverty, Inc. which turned out to be pretty informative and really hit the nail on the head as to why developing countries have been stuck in a cycle of poverty.
Description: “This probing documentary takes an uncompromising look at the processes and the problems involved with the global charity industry” (Netflix)
This film really resonated with me because during my time at college I developed a huge interest in social inequalities. Everyone knows that these inequalities are important, however the way that we have gone about solving them thus far hasn’t really done much more than create a seemingly never ending cycle.
Something really important that the film addressed is the manner in which developed countries portray third world countries in their media. Many times when one turns on the TV and sees an ad for a particular charity, there are images of starving children and communities that are in deplorable conditions. Yes. These kinds of images can be found in these countries but reducing a whole country to nothing but poverty and desolation is wrong. These countries, like Haiti for instance, are abundant with natural resources that the citizens can use to promote trade between themselves and other countries. They have the capability to better their economic standing but they need to be provided the necessary tools with which to do so.
The continued presence of American and European NGOs in developing countries have become more of a detriment than originally anticipated. I’m in no way saying that these organizations are unnecessary because obviously in times of crisis, like natural disasters, everyone needs as much help as possible. However, there is a difference between providing short term and long term help. When these NGOs stay too long in a country and continue to provide a surplus of food and supplies to the citizens, it hinders the farmers, builders, tailors, etc. whose job it was to provide these things to their own people. This leads to a cycle of dependence on these more developed countries without allowing the developing countries to build their own economy. The organizations that are really valuable these days are those that teach marketable skills. Only when people acquire skills and are able to market themselves or their products will their economy really start to thrive.
Until next time,
Hit me up on social media!