One Hilarious Video Perfectly Sums Up a Big Problem With Western Humanitarianism

Wow. As someone who has been on 12 humanitarian trips this article asks some really thought provoking questions. I would push back on the comment about the “White Savior Industrial Complex”. This statement is really ignorant of the multicultural society we live in today in North America. Coming from Toronto we have every culture in the world in our city. I might instead call it the “Western Savior Industrial Complex”. Please take a few minutes to read this article.

The video, produced by the Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (SAIH), is satire in the same vein as ‘Humanitarians of Tinder.’ It skewers the trend of “voluntourism,” where well-intentioned Westerners journey to distant places as volunteers with little regard for culture, history or the ethical challenges their presence brings into communities that aren’t their own.

There is nothing wrong with the humanitarian impulse. That those with the time and means choose to devote themselves to helping the less fortunate is noble and to be commended. But as the SAIH video shows, this aid often comes in the form of activities that make little difference or misunderstands the cultural context in which it operates.

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About The Author

Brett Ullman

Brett Ullman travels North America speaking to teens, young adults, leaders, and parents on topics including parenting, mental health, sexuality, pornography, men, dating and media. Brett's seminars engage and challenge attendees to try and connect our ancient faith with our modern culture we live in. Participants are inspired to reflect on what we know, what we believe and how our faith ought to serve as the lens through which we view and engage tough conversations in our society today.

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