Before I moved out of my parents’ gaff a few years ago, I was walking down Manchester’s Market St and got pitched by a charity worker. I ended up giving £5 a month to Oxfam for about 3 years. Eventually I moved out and struggled financially due to the utterly shit wage I was on and the total lack of benefits and complete disinterest in my condition by the NHS… but I kept on paying.
Eventually, after about a year of gradually getting broker and broker, I sorted out my benefits and was able to live a life better than the average prisoner. But I kept on paying Oxfam £5 a month. Was I generous? Or foolhardy? Eventually, about a year after I sorted my benefits, I cancelled the Oxfam payments.
I was receiving from the government, so who was I to be giving out to others? Everything was legitimate, but it wasn’t right.
But there’s another reason why I cancelled the payment.
The money goes to people who live in areas where the sun bakes so hot that the rain never falls. Crops don’t grow. There’s nothing to eat or drink. Essentially, the land is inhospitable.
Why live and breed in an area that isn’t hospitable? Why bring a child into the world when there isn’t the resources to feed them? And more importantly, why would I give up some of my (subsidised) wage when I already pay taxes? Why should the USA and Europe hold up other nations and continents?
The charity adverts say people in poor countries don’t want to live on handouts. But in order to work their way out of poverty, like the adverts say they want to, they’ve first got to live in a hospitible land, and if where they are doesn’t allow crops to grow, all the donations in the world won’t help them in the long run.
A million years ago, if our ancestors didn’t find food, they’d move to greener pastures. That’s what they’d do out of need, for survival. Every other species does it too. Why won’t people in places such as Ethiopia do this for themselves? And why have children that you know you can’t afford to raise?!
But, on the flipside, look at the UK. We give more money to people who’ve forgotten to take the pill (or didn’t know to go on it) than we do to people with disabilities and conditions they were born with. We’re no perfect nation ourselves, as we all know.
Maybe our priority should be to sort out our problems before we try to help others…