One of the reasons that many of us are interested in a health career

One of the reasons that many of us are interested in a health career is our genuine desire to make a difference and help others.  However, it is important to think about how helping can have complicated implications.

One of the reasons that many of us are interested in a health career

One of the reasons that many of us are interested in a health career is our genuine desire to make a difference and help others.  However, it is important to think about how helping can have complicated implications.  There is the possibility of creating unfortunate power dynamics. Or mistakenly trying to help in a way that turns out to actually be harmful.  This is one of the genuine challenges that all people who work in communities struggle with as they attempt to contribute.

One example of this is illustrate d in the ways that non-profits attempt to support communities in Africa.  Some strategies are patriarchal, condescending and can lead to a problematic image of African cultures internationally.

Watch this satire video that was produced to illustrate this phenomenon called “Radi-Aid” for Norway: https://youtu.be/oJLqyuxm96k

Read or listen to this NPR story:

The Message Behind African Heaters for Norway Spoof  Link (Links to an external site.)
For yet another perspective, read this short article Beware of the ‘Voluntourists‘ Doing Good by Ossob Mohamud for Africa on the Blog, part of the Guardian Africa Network Wed 13 Feb 2013  Link (Links to an external site.)

What does it mean to ‘help’?  Obviously, there is tremendous need and those of us with privilege and power can make a real difference for others.  However, these discussions bring up the need to be self-aware and recognize the complex consequences that can stem from good intentions.

Reflect: 

What do you think/feel/experience when you read these articles and think about your prior learning or perhaps your own experiences?

Reflective Write: 

Firstly, Write a 300 word entry that connects your thoughts/feelings/experiences with the complexities  of helping and link it to your prior learning.

Secondly, What theory or model have you learned about that sheds light on this topic for you?

Thirdly, How could this be explained?  Next…explain how this will affect your future actions?

Lastly, How might you use any new knowledge or competencies in current work or your future career?

Note the word count at the end of your post.

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