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American Listening Skills: Needs Improvement


World  (tags: Zimbabwe, Zambia, orphans, widows, children, americans, HIV/AIDS, development, sustainability, forgotten voices, 'HUMANRIGHTS!', africa, best, blog, children, conflict, freedoms, ethics, humans, interesting, news, violence, world, usa )

Brian
- 3003 days ago - forgottenvoices.org
Africa is a continent with serious needs, no one would say otherwise. What might surprise you is just how much money the United States provides in foreign aid to Africa annually. So why aren't conditions improving?



   

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Comments

Ralph R Sutton (56)
Monday March 28, 2011, 9:57 am
They need to do a little work on their reading comprehension too.
 

Ralph R Sutton (56)
Monday March 28, 2011, 4:46 pm
To answer your question, Brian, far too many people, and not just in the US, fail to understand what they are reading and will agree with or oppose what is written even if it is against or supports their view. People today do a lot of skip reading or form an opinion based only on the headline and don't read the whole document. There are also a lot of people that simply have a poor vocabulary and assign meaning to words they don't know the meaning of. The narrow minded person will only see the part of the document that fits their point of view and will ignore everything else and by doing so they may be changing what is being said to something completely different from what was actually said.
 

Matloob ul Hasan (81)
Monday March 28, 2011, 7:29 pm
Noted, thanks.
 

Kit B (276)
Monday March 28, 2011, 7:32 pm

One of the biggest problems is the huge bureaucracy within the AID programs. Some make every effort to deliver to those in need but the cumbersome and inept bureaucracy and in fighting, which is rarely discussed, interferes with the administering of AID.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday March 28, 2011, 7:34 pm
YOU KNOW, THIS COULD BE THE RESULT OF MANY FACTORS, NOT JUST AMERICA NOT LISTENNING ENOUGH. IN MANY CASES, THE GOVERMENT IN THOSE COUNTRIES SABOTICES ANY AID COMING IN. FOR EXAMPLE, YEARS AGO, IN THE EARLY '70'S , THE LATE GREAT EX-BEATLES GEORGE HARRISON, GOT TOGETHER MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, THROUGH A BENEFIT CONCERT FOR BANGLADESH , PLUS REVENUES FROM THE VIDEO AND ALBUM, BY THE TIME HE HAD IT TOGETHER, HE AND HIS CELEBRETIES FRIENDS LIKE BOB DYLAN, ERICK CLAPTON, FELLOW BEATLE RINGO STAR HAD GOTTEN TOGETHER WELL OVER A BILLION IN AID FOR THIS DEVASTATED COUNTRY, ONLY TO HAVE THE GORVERMENT KEEP MOST OF THE MONEY, THEY COULD HAD CARE LESS FOR THEIR OWN PEOPLE. PLUS THERE ARE MANY SCAMS AND RIP OFFS, THERE ARE BUITRES EVERYWHERE WHO WILL MADE MONEY OFF ANY CAUSE , AND PEOPLE ARE AWARE OF THIS AND HAVE LEARNED TO BE MORE CAUTIOUS.
 

Brian R (848)
Monday March 28, 2011, 7:48 pm
@Kit B. - You are absolutely right. I am PROUD to say that Forgotten Voices uses only 10% of all donations to cover overhead costs like salary, marketing, travel etc. 90% of all funds donated go directly to helping AIDS orphans!
 

Leslie Colon (19)
Monday March 28, 2011, 8:03 pm
Noted, thanks
 

Shelly Peterson (213)
Monday March 28, 2011, 8:15 pm
Hello Brian! The chruch I belongto has established several "FOREVER HOMES" for orphens with AIDS, in South Africa and our tithes help to pay for all expenses, as well the qualified staff members facilitating each home and quality , effective education, as if attending public school here in the USA. (I was just laidoff of my job, and have no $$$)...But my prayers are with all of you, as you accomplish Progressive, effective solutions!
Be Blessed, Your Sister Friend, Shelly
 

Lukas Ockerman (9)
Monday March 28, 2011, 8:17 pm
So easy to be so much better, yet still here we are.
 

Henriette M (154)
Monday March 28, 2011, 8:20 pm
Thanks for the article Brian, very informative & hopefully this area will improve as new ideas are forth coming!
 

H Nick H (1826)
Monday March 28, 2011, 9:40 pm
Noted, thanks.
 

Monica D (580)
Monday March 28, 2011, 11:17 pm
" ... It was fascinating for me to learn that in many circumstances, the transfer of financial aid directly into these poor African communities was causing more problems than solutions. ..." Interesting.
 

Cam V (417)
Monday March 28, 2011, 11:27 pm
We give a lot of foreign aid as well and I always wonder if it ever really gets to the folks who need it the most.
 

Constance F (418)
Tuesday March 29, 2011, 12:08 am
Thank you for the righteous post, and comments. Several issues came up in the article, the one that people have expressed concerning the transfer of money, of money from charities or beaucracies actually reaching the people, but the part about not listening to what the people actually needed and wanted, with respect to their culture should shed the scales from our eyes. I recently read an article about how people can buy a goat, cow or whatever, and send them overseas to a family in need, but the "gift" of the animal can actually become a burden to the family, and in some cases, the poor gifted animal doesn't have a happy ending. Absolutely, not listening, rather projecting, perhaps well intentioned, our agenda and beliefs onto others, and then wonder why their not grateful.
 

LulekiSizwe ---- (5)
Tuesday March 29, 2011, 12:55 am
Excellent article, Brian. I learned that lesson early on when working @ an NGO/NPO - often people give the help they THINK the organisations or communities need, based on their own thoughts, feelings, circumstances, but only the communities know exactly what it is that THEY need.
 

Natividad P (104)
Tuesday March 29, 2011, 1:00 am
Noted. Thank you Brian
 

Bruce Eyster (62)
Tuesday March 29, 2011, 1:30 am
Everyone is an individual and understands in thier own way , just as every organization differs . I've worked for free , to help with funding and sending support to various disater sites , only to discover , later , that only a small percentage of the total amount raised , went to any practical help or use to those , in need !
 

Raluca Anghel (84)
Tuesday March 29, 2011, 1:51 am
thnaks, noted!
 

Rajee Seetharam (138)
Tuesday March 29, 2011, 3:17 am
Noted with many thanks Brian. Recently I watched a video on FB and cried all the three times that I watched...about the bush children in Uganda. Its a scene from The Fragment Spirit of Life!
I do agree with Bruce Eyster....
I appreciate all the work you do Brian...wish I lived around where you work....would have helped you in some ways.....thanks.
 

Liz AWAY G (60)
Tuesday March 29, 2011, 3:17 am
Noted and a very interesting article,well said! Thank you Brian for all you do...Liz
 

Alistair Toomey (34)
Tuesday March 29, 2011, 5:20 am
Thanks Brian
 

william Miller (112)
Tuesday March 29, 2011, 5:23 am
that is an eye opener but makes sense
 

Elizabeth Fuller (134)
Tuesday March 29, 2011, 6:21 am
Thank you Brian, Forgotten Voices is a worthy cause for people who want to see results and know that their donations are not being used to line the pockets of those whom are supposed to be helping the causes they petition for.
 

Esther Z (94)
Tuesday March 29, 2011, 8:54 am
Noted. In general, people do tend to have selective hearing, especially if they've already made up their mind on how a problem needs to be solved. Still the question remains, where exactly is the money going? If it's not getting to those most in need, then where is it? All those billions of dollars is lining the pockets of someone!
 

. (0)
Tuesday March 29, 2011, 9:45 am
noted with thanks
 

Rosie Lopez (73)
Tuesday March 29, 2011, 10:44 am
thanks for sharing
 

. (0)
Tuesday March 29, 2011, 11:09 am
A very disconcerting article that illustrates the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. Meanwhile. a fortune is being wasted.
 

Vukan Simic (121)
Tuesday March 29, 2011, 1:45 pm
Thanks Brian!
 

gloria c (7)
Tuesday March 29, 2011, 4:35 pm
in fact it's a lost art. on par with washing your own dishes.
 

Brian R (848)
Tuesday March 29, 2011, 5:02 pm
Thanks so much for all the fantastic comments, I truly appreciate them!
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 29, 2011, 5:04 pm
I don't think that is entirely fair, most aid workers are there on a specific remit that might or might not be the biggest problem of the day in a particular village, but that is what the charity does. Even when you start to improve one area, all you done is move the problem 1 stop down the line. Say we invest free in malaria nets, and life expectancy increases somewhat, but not a lot because access to drinking water is a problem. We would then need to invest in drinking water, while continuing our investment in malaria nets, but then lack of schools is a problem. So we invest in water, nets, and schools, but then poor roads are hampering the nation. So we would need to invest in water, nets, schools, and infrastructure. Taking on that commitment is daunting, especially while examples such as India, China, and South Korea exist of a country transitioning from poor nations to rapidly growing nations (and in the case of South Korea, becoming a developed nation) mainly through free market reforms. Most aid agencies are treating symptoms, but we must start curing the disease and that is a much bigger endevour that requires commitments that are sorely lacking from local governments.
 

Aletta Kraan (146)
Tuesday March 29, 2011, 7:14 pm
Noted , thanks !!!
 

Krasimira B (175)
Wednesday March 30, 2011, 3:09 am
Excellent article Brian! Agree with Bruce...
 

Annie Cowling (116)
Wednesday March 30, 2011, 9:51 am
Thank-you Brian for posting
 

Natalie Away J (125)
Thursday March 31, 2011, 9:52 am
Noted thanks Brian. When I read "not one person or organization had asked the community leaders what they thought should be done". Does that mean that the money is just sitting somewhere? I hope that situation will soon change, and that the right people get it.
 

Jill Vickerman (416)
Friday April 1, 2011, 5:41 am
Thanks Brian, very interesting...
 

Colin Hope (201)
Saturday April 2, 2011, 6:03 am
Thanks Brian, very interesting reading!!
 

Izis Almeida Silva (5)
Wednesday April 6, 2011, 8:02 pm
Thanks for the article Brian!
 

Susan S (187)
Tuesday April 12, 2011, 10:14 pm
The situation in Africa is very complex. People here in North America are not taught much about other cultures unfortunately, and believe a lot of myths and stereotypes about 'developing countries'. I once helped with international relief and development with a charity Canadian Feed the Children and learned a great deal about how much people in the Okanagan in BC (an affluent area of British Columbia in Canada) actually know about child poverty. When people are presented with the truth they are generally open to listening... it is just that people are not aware and ignorance is not bliss.
 

Stelizan L (258)
Wednesday April 13, 2011, 4:02 pm
No, ignorance is not bliss but most people 'hear' without 'listening' i.e. 'read' without really comprehending the actual meaning of the written script. Providing finances for foreign aid will not really help the needy unless the bureaucratic 'jungle' between those giving and those receiving, are obliterated. Aid should be given like in the case of Forgotten Voices, with the absolute minimum being 'wasted' along the way.
 

Sonny Honrado (5)
Saturday April 23, 2011, 5:40 pm
Education would help them.
 
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