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Speaker: The act of not eating doesn't save children

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  • Sacha, in reply to Michael Savidge,

    you made me

    weak-willed

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Michael Savidge,

    I’d give my left testicle for world peace and of course the question must go out. Got any better ideas?

    Well yes I have, but it would take sacrifices on a scale way beyond such campaigns which serve only as a salve for some. And take a lot of painful self examination and looking at individual lives in a way most people would rather not. It seems we would rather bury ourselves in idiot campaigns to win pieces of silver in which money will always win. But hey we’re only human is the excuse usually trotted out on such occasions. So WTF would I know.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge,

    you made me

    weak-willed

    Off-topic.

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge, in reply to andin,

    But surely it is still doing something and that's the change you want, no? However clumsy or patronising or whatever judgement is made upon it, it is something tangible and relatively timely for really hungry people.

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    Good piece Amberleigh. I too have seen in friends the awfulness of eating disorders, and I know about Live Below the Line because my partner until a couple of months back worked with one of the agencies promoting the campaign.

    I am against food restriction campaigns that heavily promote the participation of children and teens through schools. In my view, that's just not appropriate: the message that not eating is a noble thing is not one that children should be taught. My kids came under 40-Hour Famine peer pressure at one stage and we also found an alternative, while ensuring the boys understood well why such appeals are made. Adults are a different matter: surely it is their freedom to choose to take part or not? I choose not to.

    But the loathing directed against god botherers raising money for aid projects is painful to read. I have heard of many, many people whose lives, individually have been turned around or even saved by small-scale fund-raisings: getting clean water for a village, buying sewing machines so people can create their own cottage industry, the Fred Hollows Foundation's work saving sight.

    Aid is undoubtedly a global industry, and the giver should examine the agency collecting the funds and find out what proportion of the spend goes to the cause, and what proportion goes to admin, big salaries for executives- and advertising budgets. The dollars raised sent to a multi-national charity will have very different results than those sent to a small NZ agency that operates programmes overseas. Most agencies are only too aware of the systemic causes of the needs; some work to address that too.

    Isn't doing something, no matter how small, worth it when a life is saved or a kid gets to eat that day?

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Hebe,

    Aid is undoubtedly a global industry

    It shouldnt be an industry it should be what we do as a matter of course.

    But the loathing directed against god botherers raising money for aid projects is painful to read.

    a reflexive reaction

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Hebe,

    Isn’t doing something, no matter how small, worth it when a life is saved or a kid gets to eat that day?

    I don't think anyone here is even remotely saying charity is bad. Or that small things can't make a big difference.

    But is charity work therefore immune from criticism? I don't think it should be.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge,

    It shouldnt be an industry it should be what we do as a matter of course.

    But we don't so do-gooders try and pick up the slack.

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Michael Savidge,

    playing the victim will generally draw attention

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge, in reply to Sacha,

    And what are you playing there fella? Still off-topic and seemingly with a personal bone to pick. Don't you remember me, I once said you'd make a great president?

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to andin,

    It shouldnt be an industry it should be what we do as a matter of course.

    Isn't though. In my naivety, I have been appalled to find out that.

    Your reflexive reaction was mine too until I was able to see first-hand accounts of what a few bucks in our terms meant to the people. I' m not saying the systems that create those privations is anything but wrong.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Lilith __,

    But is charity work therefore immune from criticism?

    I'm not saying that. At all. Criticism and debate is essential, and any decent aid organisation will be constantly self-evaluating rather than self-congratulating.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Michael Savidge,

    You’re not making a great case for tolerance here! PAS is all about disagreeing in a non-disagreeable way. I understand where you are coming from, but like you say, you are new in the area. Reading your post, I felt lectured and hectored, not persuaded.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Hebe,

    I was able to see first-hand accounts of what a few bucks in our terms meant to the people.

    I don't dispute this, but isn't it a modern version of "the poor are always with us"? A trifling contribution that we barely notice saves someone's life? The inequalities that make this possible make me sick.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Lilith __,

    Exactly. It gets very wearing, so I guess that's why people who work in the area have to look for the positives else they burn out. That can seem like rose-tinted glasses to everyone else, but it is not necessarily an inability to see the problems.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews, in reply to andin,

    It seems we would rather bury ourselves in idiot campaigns to win pieces of silver in which money will always win.

    Maybe it's not a great solution, but no need to be a dick about people committing to what's in front of them hoping it will help.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge,

    You’re not making a great case for tolerance here!

    I wasn't really trying to but I see your point and apologise for getting a bit ranty. I guess my point was that while critiquing the methods organisations use to try and alleviate suffering is all well and good and important, the scale of the actual suffering is so horrific and entirely solvable if only it was deemed of higher priority than nit-picking the tactics that some are using. Everyone is welcome to step up and use what they believe to be the best methodology in addressing the issues, but I find it hard to be tolerant of those who criticise and then continue to watch from the sidelines.

    I agree with everyone who has said that poverty is something we are all responsible for addressing, but the reality is that most people seem to find the problem too big to engage with or that those suffering have somehow deserved it and it's not their problem.

    I guess the main source of my frustration here is that some commentators have dismissed the Live Below the Line campaign as tokenism with little impact on the overall picture, and I find that to be somewhat distressing and, from my limited experience, entirely untrue.

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Michael Savidge,

    I guess my point was that while critiquing the methods organisations use to try and alleviate suffering is all well and good and important, the scale of the actual suffering is so horrific and entirely solvable if only it was deemed of higher priority than nit-picking the tactics that some are using. Everyone is welcome to step up and use what they believe to be the best methodology in addressing the issues, but I find it hard to be tolerant of those who criticise and then continue to watch from the sidelines.

    This is a completely false dichotomy. I can walk and chew gum. Who’s watching from the sidelines? Let’s all give to charity while engaging in critical dialogue about the best ways of doing it.

    That's what Amberleigh Jack's original post was about. Finding the best and least problematic ways to make good things happen.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    FWIW I support Kiva , which provides microloans to households and small businesses in the developing world. You can select where the money goes, and keep your money going round, from one project to another, as it's paid back.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge, in reply to Lilith __,

    Who’s watching from the sidelines?

    Many, many, many people.

    I wasn't accusing you directly Lilith and I apologise if that was how I came across. I know the PA community is full of really good people, but it is a small sub-section of society and is certainly not representative of society as a whole.

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Lilith __,

    Finding the best and least problematic ways to make good things happen.

    +1

    For what it's worth I may have come across as harsh in my response and I shouldn't have. I accept that the intent is good and also am fully aware of the issue that is trying to be addressed. It isn't the way I choose to act to address those problems (there are other options) but that is beside the point.

    My only problem is that the original poster identified a serious potential unintended consequence of the campaign. For me, at that point the only response is to step back and say "hey we might be doing some harm here, lets find out if we are and if it turns out we are doing harm act to prevent it."

    It wasn't clear to me from the response of the campaign spokesperson who posted here that they would be doing that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    It wasn’t clear to me from the response of the campaign spokesperson who posted here that they would be doing that.

    They did say:

    As we move into next year we will undertake to consult with organisations that understand eating disorders to get their advice on how we might further ensure that we are both aware and active in minimising the possibility of harm.

    Without stopping what they are currently in the middle of doing on the basis that it may be doing some unintended harm to some participants... what more should they be doing?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Michael Savidge,

    But we don’t so do-gooders try and pick up the slack.

    Its those in power whose minds need rebooting and fast. Yet we all just seem to put it in the too hard basket and suddenly a decade or two wanders by.
    And its OK to turn the education of future generations and care for the sick into profit making ventures. As for aid, well it gets turned into an industry. Its got to stop.
    We invented money and god, never forget that, they are malleable institutions nothing is set in stone and we can change it anytime we like. Its just those with the most to loose (always materially) will try anything to stop it happening.

    Maybe it’s not a great solution, but no need to be a dick about people committing to what’s in front of them hoping it will help.

    Sez you!
    In front of them hoping it will help? what?
    And I speak as one of the working poor.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    what more should they be doing?

    Yeah I saw that and I guess I'm so jaded that I read it as "we'll pay a consultant to write a report and carry on as before" rather than as a commitment to make certain they aren't doing harm. That is unfortunately the way I usually read "consult" "might" and "advice". That is probably unfair on my part.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    What about Lent and Ramadan? They have both been around slightly longer than the 40 hour famine.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

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