Because I could not stop for death....

I got knocked up instead...

Monday, July 25, 2005

'd like to feel bad, really, I would

but sometimes, I get really really mad. Currently, Niger is big on the "starving people to help" list. (you may have to register, but it's free). Lots of sad pictures of starving children to guilt me into sending money.

Why am I rather.....not pleased? Because look around in these countries. How many children are these women bearing? We aren't talking about 1 or 2 or 3 kids. Try 8 or 12. A woman with a 12 month old already pregnant with another, and trying to feed them. I become irate because the focus is ALWAYS on feed these poor starving children. Why is it NEVER, "PREVENT THESE PREGNANCIES".

In North America, a woman who keeps on having babies, and lives off the system is usually pointed at as a "leech" who should "know better". In Africa, and other countries where they NEVER have enough food, this is never the case. Have a culture where women have no say in their reproductive rights, and you have famine.

Yes, I'm making this rather simplistic, and likely minimizing it. But really. IF the birth rate was lessened or even just stabilized, do you really think these problems who continue on the level they do?

I won't even get into situations like Rwanda or the Congo.

I just get sick of ad'd for organizations like the "christian children's fund", which never seems to focus on the real issue. UNWANTED CHILDREN.

It crushes my heart to see a 3 year old who weighs as much as my 5 month old. But I also think it's better in the long run, to prevent fires instead of putting them out all the time.


At 4:24 AM, Blogger Joker said...

the aid agencies dont focus on the crux - prevention. that would help a lot. isnt it? and this aid thingy is leading to a spurt of a lot of bogus stuff too. i got gypped. not going into the details. better to stick with known agencies like amnesty and stuff.

At 1:22 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

Your ideas are not simplistic but bang on. I would dearly love to have another baby but I know at this point on my life I can only afford the two I have. It is common sense and I can't figure out why the third-world countries are not making policies regarding the number of children a woman may have.

At 5:04 PM, Blogger Cristie said...

I agree with you so much, I would love to add another baby to my household, but theres no way my husband and I could afford it. And Heaven Forbid we should ask for assistance if we did! I understand that these countries need help, I think we should send them information along with the food whatever else is sent.

At 6:45 PM, Blogger Cori said...

It is amazing how the population becomes under control and how culture changes when people empower/teach women about family planning. I personally feel that countries who impose "policies regarding the number of children a woman may have" are ass-backward...

When a woman is taught, educated, and supported... wonderful things happen to society that you don't normally see... and the number of births per woman always drops.

Not that I would know anything about that.... (wink)

At 6:46 PM, Blogger Cori said...

Oh.... and I forgot to say.... great post!

At 9:59 AM, Blogger thordora said...

Wow! I wasn't expecting others to feel the same way! Thanks for the positive comments!

Don't get me wrong, I hate the fact that these children, women and men suffer. But how is that my fault? I am MORE than willing to offer my assistance and money for disease prevention classes, farm equipment, family planning education, empowerment for women, things that will cause real change in these countries. But I'm sorry, I'm NOT willing to just "send" money to feed someone for a day or so to assuage my guilt.

What's the saying? "Give a man a fish, he'll eat today. Teach a man to fish, he'll always eat." Like Cori says, if you plant the seeds with education, EVERYTHING thing else will follow. If everyone in North America did not practice some type of birth control, what kind of life would we have? About the same, because we CANNOT feed 8 kids per family. PERIOD. ESPECIALLY if we always focus on MEAT. (But that's another story entirely).

Nor do I agree with a "head limit" either. Doesn't change things, and accidents do happen. Look at China, and the number of aborted, abandoned and murdered GIRL children. We do ourselves no favours in that regard either.

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most humanitarian aid and development agencies don't just hand out fact, the money donated goes towards basic education, health awareness campaigns, water/sanitation projects, micro-enterprise development, gender equity and food supplements. And most of them have programs here in the US, and not just in a far, far away world. If you look at the specific website of the the children, world vision, plan international, or christian children's fund... you'll see that they all do a lot more than give someone a fish for just a day.

At 10:30 AM, Blogger thordora said...

Yes, and from past experiences, I've ALSO noticed that along with some of these items is "religon", which generally does NOT include any RATIONAL approaches to family planning in these environments. I won't get into my concerns with charity being connected so intimately with a religous group.

And I have concerns that they are NOT provided unbiased education, or food and medical care without some type of strings. I have concerns with how items are distributed in these countries. Due to the way women are portrayed and treated in some religous environments, I have SERIOUS concerns with charities affiliated with or created by religous organizations having ANYTHING to do with reproductive or sexuality education in environments where access to alternate viewpoints is limited if at all available.

I'd like to have faith in these charities, but I don't. How do you teach a woman to use birth control if that contradicts your beliefs? How do you help a woman escape abuse if they follow your holy book, which states the man has dominion over the woman, in some form or fashion? How can you TRULY be teaching gender equity through these groups?
I was raised catholic, and I remember some of the "charities" we were asked to give/raise money for, and I remember the materials being included in terms of what was being done. I don't believe most of these organizations are operating purely out of altruistic motivations. Converting the heathens however....

sorry for the mini rant. I just see "conflict of interest" ALL over this stuff. But you are right. SOME org's DO provide more than "just" a fish. I should have inserted "condom" instead!

Thanks for the "other side", although I wish you'd have not posted Anon!

At 11:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to see you are open to hearing the other side…well, at least reading it and summarily disregarding it. What is the magic of the blog-o-sphere without diverse perspectives? Ah yes, the thought police system that we already have channeled to us by one extreme wing or the other.

Your point of the aid being contingent upon conversion is well taken. In fact, I couldn't agree more. However, your skepticism is not necessarily grounded in the realities of the aforementioned NGOs. In fact, only 2 of the ones mentioned actually do any degree of proselytizing (and it is limited). Most try to mix traditional culture with the best practices of international development strategies. For example, where young females are sold to husbands on their 12th birthday, some groups are paying the father the same dowry and instead sending the child to a boarding school. With time and gender training, this practice will change, but for the transition period, it is an adequate compromise. I know of one Christian NGO that preaches abstinence while equally teaching condom use and STD prevention.

You cannot enter into another cultural and force your beliefs/systems upon them and you cannot expect a culture to instantly throw their customs out the window and embrace yours. Right or wrong in our western eyes, those practices have existed for centuries and drastic changes will be met with drastic resistance. There is a fine line of diplomacy that even NGOs have to toe up to.

I would recommend that people research NGOs before cutting a check…you have to pick ones that are in alignment with your beliefs, goals and perspectives. There are very liberal ones and very conservative ones. However, for every fly-by-night charlatan org with the best of intentions and the lowest of accountability standards, there are many accredited and well-respected organizations that have proven time and again that they truly have innovative ideas to create sustainable change.

As with anything, and especially situations where your hard-earned money is on the line, do your research first and avoid making vast generalizations sanctifying or damning an entire category. It is wrong to assume that all are good or that all are evil.

Good places to research:,,

And for alternative news sources...I would recommend

And that is all from the "other side", per your request, I shan't post again.


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