A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving
— Lao Tzu (via globalgoose)
how to not be a White Savior when in Africa
- Don’t assume those you intend to help even wanted your help.
- You are not there to ‘help’ anyone. Help assumes you are in authority and they depend on you.
- You are there to work with people.
- Those people are not charity cases: they are human beings with feelings history and personal identities. Like you. Treat them as such.
- That means stop thinking its so goddamn ’beautiful’ to hold a black child’s hand or ‘inspiring’ when you wear their clothes and practice their customs or ‘amazing’ when you see a person wear western clothes.
- You’re exotifying people based on racist and ignorant ideas you had of them. Go back to no. 4
- The people you work with don’t exist to make you/your life look better.
- Don’t assume you know what’s best for them. Ask. Listen.
- Listen to them more than those you view as your ‘equals’ (fellow volunteers/white ppl)
- Don’t expect those you work with to be thankful to you. They didn’t ask you to work with them in the first place.
- You are not there to ‘save the day’.
- Treat them the way you treat your friends; be there for them when they want/need you, offer advice but don’t act butthurt if they don’t take it.
- You do not have all the answers. Nobody does. So don’t act like you do. It shows.
- Don’t describe those you work with as ‘underprivileged’ or other demeaning eurocentric words. What you are doing is comparing your own life to theirs and assuming everyone wants the type of life you have. Go back to no. 6 & 7
(this also goes for working with kids, women’s groups, people with certain disabilites etc. whether in your own country or abroad. Feel free to add more points that hasn’t been covered and reblog. End the White Saviour Complex)