Assignment 6

As we discussed earlier on our blog, what we do affect some people in the world somehow and in some ways. It is important to be aware of tracking your behaviors and words, as they can affect and influence other people. An idea has capacity to change the world potentially. As Eleanor Roosevelt quoted, “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people,” ideas are vital. As social networking has taken over the world lately, ideas are extremely viral as well. Kony 2012 by the invisible children was ranked as the most viral video of all time by TIME (TIME). The idea has spread worldwide within few days. It can be dangerous as its consequences exceed the expectations and intentions of the starters. An idea is a strong power. A great power involves great responsibility, quoted by Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the article Humanitarianism, Perceptions, Power, Donini states that “The perception issue is a minor aspect of a much more serious problem: the essentially lop-sided nature of the relationship between outsiders and insiders that breeds disempowerment, and sometimes victimization” (Donini). As people have different backgrounds, experiences, and beliefs that have been shaped differently, the perspectives on things are different. Everyone is different and he or she has potential to change each other’s life entirely. As a result, there’s a gap between people to people and societies to societies. Yet, the world has formed under the order and has cleared dissonance and extras, negating all the ideas by those who are oppressed and supporting the ideas of those who have. Everything that has been segregated and left out during the process is important to understand collective behaviors of humans. As a result, it made us harder to understand each other.


The maze will be the system that oppressors have built. The opressed people in the maze have harder time understanding each other as their ideas have been discluded and secluded.

The statement by Donini, “Humanitarian action works as a powerful vector for Western ideas and modes of behavior. It is a powerful mechanism for shaping the relationships between the “modernized” outsiders and the multitude of the insiders. Technical knowledge and expertise—the nutritionist, the camp manager, the protection officer—are never neutral. Try as they may, aid workers carry baggage, practice, and ideology that shape the relationship. And power.” Each individual humanitarian worker has tendency to carry on his or her own color along with the internal intentions such as missionary, market searching, and more. On the surface, the humanitarian workers give away charity for the bigger benefits from the beneficiaries. Unconditional support and humanitarian organization can’t go along as the revenue for the organizations is limited. For them, ‘free is not free’ is one way to put the mutual relationship between givers and takers.

Elon Students and faculty went to Malawi for an alternative service trip. These college students will have huge impacts on the people there in a good way and a bad way. Every words they say, every actions they take, people in Malawi will be affected. As they serve children in the local nursery schools, thousands of children will see and hear from the Elon students. Each student possesses so many possibilities. Some children might start having ideological American dreams. Some children will start building stereotypes on western people. This trend has already been started in Tanzania. Whenever beggars see foreigners they ask for money. It is obvious things to do, but the locals use this concept to take advantages over foreigners. My friends and I gave our changes to the beggars who ask not only to us but also to the locals. I can’t make assumptions on what the Elon Malawi group’s entertainment deal was. Based on my experiences in Tanzania, most of touristic scenes were either operated by the western companies or wealthy elites. Most of Tanzanians have never climbed Mountain Kilimanjaro as it’s too expensive for them to afford. By contributing to tourism in Africa, you are helping them and making a larger gap between poor and rich in Africa. Most of us do not think deeply on our actions and words because we are so conformed to our lives.




Abu-Sada, Caroline, ed. In the Eyes of Others: How People in Crises Perceive Humanitarian Aid. N.p.: MSF-USA, 2012. Print.

Donini, Antonio. “Humanitarianism, Perceptions, Power.” In the Eyes of Others. Ed. Caroline Abu-Sada. N.p.: Doctors Without Borders, 2012. Print.

“Students Visit Malawi for Service Opportunities.” E-Net! Elon University News & Information. Elon University, n.d. Web. 16 June 2013. <>.

“World Development Indicator.” Data. The World Bank, n.d. Web. <>.




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