The Aid Industry: Can we really get by on doing good with good intentions only?

Media Diversified

by Palwesha Yusaf

Sásá ha’ a nalo ó batar la fulin, kôlelemai. (Why does your corn not grow?)
Sásá ha’ a nalo ó hare la burit, kôlelemai. (Why doesn’t your rice sprout?)
Se se ha’ a nalo ó kabun la bosu, kôlelemai. (Who causes your empty stomachs?)
Se se ha’ a nalo ó kosar la maran, kôlelemai. (Who causes your never ending sweat?)

Kolêlelemairadekokodelê, kôlelemai. (Who is responsible? Who is to blame?)
Kolêlelemairadekokodelê. (Who is responsible?)
Kôle hele laloikôlelemai. (Who is to blame?)

I knew I was in trouble when the simulation exercise began. I was completing pre-departure training for my home country’s international aid program. My assignment was in the small half isle nation of Timor-Leste, nestled in between Australia and Indonesia. The participants were of all ages and professions, though many had little to no experience in community development. Much of the training involved preparing us for the…

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