Zac Baker

Yesterday (Friday), we went to DA-IL, a Korean organization that feeds hundreds of Cambodian children a day. A lot of the kids that come only get that one meal a day. While there, we helped make some of the baked goods for the next day (rolls with a peanut butter topping). After that, we helped the smaller children carry their trays to their table and if they needed help, helped them eat their food. Let’s just say that it was controlled chaos for 30 minutes or so as hundreds of children were fed.

Initially, one would think that this is a great organization doing great things. Those kids need to be fed, right? But after we left, we started talking about the sustainability aspect. For most of these kids, it seems to me that DA-IL was creating a dependency, which is less than ideal for good development. The thing is though, what would happen if it wasn’t there? What would the kids eat?

It’s tough, because it’s easy to say it’s bad development and it’s not necessarily the right way to help (and I’m not saying it doesn’t help, I’m just wondering if maybe there’s a better way), but then you have to deal with these questions: what happens if it just stops? What happens if funding stops showing up (DA-IL is completely donation run)?

It’s tough. It’s hard to say that there is a “right answer…”


1 thought on “Zac Baker

  1. Types of Development:
    1. Relief: Giving Fish (DA-IL)
    2. Community Development: Teaching to Fish (CRWRC)
    3. Advocacy: Changing the injustices that keep people from being able to fish (ASJ)
    4. Social Movements: Changing the systems to make sure that the pond can provide for everyone in a just way. (Transformemos Honduras, Occupy Wall Street, etc.)

    The analogy gets a little murky around #4, but regardless I think you nailed it: The meals provided by DA-IL could be completely necessary right now, but at the same time if that’s all that we work for, we will always feel like we’re missing the point.

    Glad to hear you’re experiencing and thinking about it.

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