Anyone who has been on social media in North America or Europe over the past few days cannot help but have seen the phenomenon that involves people filming themselves tipping ice-cold water over their heads, apparently to raise awareness and/or money for charity. Although the details vary, the first step is generally that someone is challenged by a friend, to either give $100 to charity, or to tip a bucket of ice-cold water over their head…
On the train from Mbeya to Dar es Salaam this week it was fun to bump in to some of the backpackers for whom the TAZARA train seems to be an essential part of their African adventures. I was interested to hear their perspectives of Tanzania, as well as Zambia, Malawi and South Africa that they had travelled through.
The following video, made by Everyone Matters, is entitled “First World Problems read by Third World People”. Personally I don’t like the terms first and third world, but I think the video does a good job of juxtaposing the very different realities of day to day life in different parts of our world.
On my recent trip to Mbeya I brought along a couple of second-hand books that we had been given a while back, to pass the 16 hours each way on a bus. One of the books was The Africans, by David Lamb, who lived in Nairobi, Kenya, for four years and travelled around several African countries as a newspaper reporter.
There is a huge amount of thought, energy and money that goes into development work in Africa and other places around the world, but every now and then one comes across efforts for which the best that can be said is that they were born from good intentions. This morning on twitter I came across a post of the 7 worst international aid ideas.