Volunteer work, charity projects, foreign aid, what’s the use of it? Does it really help developing countries? Many people argue that it only makes societies dependent upon foreign aid.
I have seen projects and people being totally dependent upon development aid, unable to function without money, knowledge and help from donors. It annoys me when people see you as a cash cow and can only say in English: “hey you, give me money!”
On the other hand, I have also met people whose lives have been transformed by charitable giving. A volunteer who lends a helping hand or a generous donation can, in the right circumstances, have an enormous impact.
One story that particularly struck me, is the story of Mintu and and the English banker Tim. They met thirty years ago on the streets of Kolkata. Born and raised in the slum, Mintu would not have many chances in life. Until Tim decided to take young Mintu in and start a school for Indian street children.
Now, thirty years later, this school -Future Hope- is a window of opportunity for many children who would otherwise spend their lives on dirty streets or railway stations. Mintu is married, his oldest daughter is in university and he works for Future Hope. His job is to look for young street children, in the roughest areas of Kolkata, who desperately need help. He sends them to Future Hope.