Beyond Good Intentions
Part travel story, part personal narrative, and part aid critique, Words of Relief follows Tori Hogan on her quest to find a boy she met in East Africa eight years earlier, during her time as a volunteer with Save the Children. The boy's willingness to voice his cynicism about her group's efforts whereMore »
Part travel story, part personal narrative, and part aid critique, Words of Relief follows Tori Hogan on her quest to find a boy she met in East Africa eight years earlier, during her time as a volunteer with Save the Children. The boy's willingness to voice his cynicism about her group's efforts where others would not was a courageous political act in Hogan's mind, and it was one that changed the course of her life: it set her on the path to becoming an outspoken critic of international aid. Words of Relief documents Hogan's return to Kenya in 2010 to search for the boy, Ahmed, to thank him for opening her eyes. When she finds out he's been resettled, her quest turns into something unexpected: a search for hope, which takes her to an orphanage, a refugee camp, and various NGOs and organizations across East Africa. She travels through Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda over the course of one summer, and her findings are mixed: there's enough good being done to give her some hope, but there's much more there that solidifies her negative view of aid and the harm it inflicts upon communities in need of real solutions. In the end, Hogan discovers that when you strip away the grand aspirations you have to save the world, you reveal a core truth: we all have the ability to improve the lives of others-but only if we have the humility and willingness to listen to what's truly needed, and the courage to effect real change.« Less
a journey into the realities of international aid
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