One of the biggest dilemmas right now in places like Haiti is the unintended consequences of crisis relief without long-term vision for indigenous empowerment and cultural revitalization. For example, see Exhibit A from this past week. A book that I have been reading that is incredibly helpful (and a manual for our work in Haiti) is When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. I highly encouraged those doing cross-cultural mission work, especially in third-world countries, to read this book.
Also this week, I came across this video below which discusses again examples of how not to help the poor. In our country alone, millions have been spent on “the war on poverty”–a war Americans are losing because of bad strategy and wrong presuppositions. Check it out.