Editorials

Non-governmental organizations, Known as NGOs

Non-governmental organizations also Known as NGO’s are mostly founded by private individuals.

Non-governmental organizations
Non-governmental organizations

They are usually non-profit organizations that carry out active humanitarianism and Aid to the less privileged, physically challenged or victims of disasters such as flood, Security Insurgency and conditions such as poverty, diseases among others.

In Africa, the support western Funded NGO’S provides to the needy is clearly visible but what makes many doubt the sincerely of this is the light in which these western NGO’s portray African Countries and the manner in which it is been done.

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The picture that Africans live in huts, don’t have technology, don’t wear clothes and aren’’t educated stems from the actions of most western NGO’s whenever  they come over here to render help

The Western media and charity organizations propagate the image of a continent characterized by poverty, conflict, famine, disease, primitive cultures, uneducated, a backwards economy and corrupt politics.

Furthermore, Africa is represented as infantilized, through the repetitive portrayal of malnourished and unhealthy children scavenging for food to eat.

The “image of the starving African child” is so frequently used in aid NGO’s campaigns that it has in fact become the dominant representation of the whole continent.

Ultimately, this is what Africa is characterized by.

These  stereotypical representations of African countries that charity organizations use in their imaging, has been referred to as ‘the Fundraising Coin’’

fundraising coin NGO

Most Scholars and NGO’s believe that Images of impoverished children evoke more compassion during their fundraising events.

Many western funded organizations solicit funds under the guise of helping ‘poor’ Africans, However, Millions of dollars are spent on tenders given to Western based companies, high salaries for expatriates and false media campaigns about what is actually happening in Africa.

Then there is the issue of most African government depending hugely on western Aids for help instead of finding solutions and taking up challenges, they would rather beg or wait for the so called western NGO’s which causes delay in development and economic growth.

Over the years, the misconception that everyone in Africa is poor and hungry even when that may not be the case has rapidly increased.

Beyonce received backlashes over her NGO Comments in AfricaTake for example, during the just concluded #ENDSARS Protests, Popular singer, Beyoncé received backlash from a lot of people concerning a statement she released saying she was already working with her NGO in Africa to provide food, shelter and health care for those participating in the protest.

beyonce received backlashes over her NGO Comments in Africa

Even though she meant good by that statement, it rubbed off in a bad way because it showed that when most western people think of assisting Africans, they always go through the food and shelter route.

It gave people the impression that those protesters were hungry and homeless instead of focusing on the real issue.

Those protesters weren’’t hungry, they weren’’t homeless, they just needed influential people to lend their voice and join their fight.

Nevertheless, Africa still needs international aid just like any continent of the world but they shouldn’’t be considered as beggars.

Instead of the regular, ‘providing food and shelter aid to the  ‘Hungry and Homeless’  that international NGO’s focus on which makes Africa look  helpless without their support, more thought should be given to ways in which these Aid will actually change the situation of these people.

For example community empowerment- enlighten the people and give the necessary support whether financially or through any other means to build and better themselves and communities likewise collaborate,  provide support and ideas to the government in times of crisis.

The mentally that Africa is nothing without international aid has eaten deep into the minds and thoughts of many across the world and in order  to correct this mentality, there must be a re-orientation between the western NGO’s and governments of these African countries.

There should be a working system in place that regulates these NGO’s and puts a stop to the damaging and negative publicity being given to Africa by camera carrying aid workers.

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