Africa is not a playground for disoriented youth! 

Since I’ve been here, I haven’t met another volunteer who could be used here as a specialist. You meet a lot of young adult volunteers, almost all of them from Germany. 99% of them have graduated from high school and work here as teachers or in other social education institutes. Does a high school diploma qualify someone to work with traumatised children and act as a teacher?  I don’t think so.

Hello, everybody,

Unfortunately I cannot concentrate on the promised topic “the key to everything lies in childhood”. Because there is a theme that brings up in me, pure desperation. For weeks I’ve been fed up with one topic and now my collar is bursting. So I’m going to take it out on you. You always listen so sweetly, without interrupting.

It’s about voluntourism!

At the beginning I have to write directly that the blog entry comes completely from myself and AMAIDI has no influence on the topic and what I write. But it is very important to me to list the difference between AMAIDI and other organisations (I will not mention any names).

Because unlike the big organisations, which advertise with picture book pictures for “voluntary help”, AMAIDI supports me in case of criticism about the so-called voluntourism. Because AMAIDI is not dependent on BMZ and concentrates on real help.

In one of the last blog entries, I wrote that volunteers are needed here in Africa. Because building up an infrastructure simply requires the help of trained professionals.

In the three months that I have been here, I have not met another volunteer who could be used here as a specialist.

You meet many young adults, almost all of them from Germany, who claim to be here as volunteers. 99% of them have just finished their school-leaving exams and work here as teachers or in other socio-educational institutions. But what kind of qualification is Abitur?  It only describes that you have completed a higher school-leaving certificate in Germany and have been in school for 12/13 years. Does that qualify someone to work with traumatised children and to act as a teacher?  I don’t think so.

What would we say if African high school graduates came to Germany to teach and work as staff in our children’s homes, kindergartens, institutions for the disabled, hospitals or other educational institutions? The whole of Germany would run in protest against the government.

Refugees who are skilled workers

When I think back to two years ago, to the refugee crisis, a story comes to my mind.  At that time, Luxembourg welcomed 81 (I think) refugees.  But only refugees who are skilled workers! Professionals that a country then lacks in order to develop itself. Let’s leave out the war refugees and only take the so-called economic refugees. Because only those who could be considered skilled workers can stay for the most part.  Somehow it’s a strange exchange.

We take in skilled workers and send down school leavers.

In short, there is only one winner! And he’s in Germany.

The losers are those who agree to help.  To stand up for equality of opportunity and want to do their part to make the world a better place to live. They come down here and are totally frustrated because they feel totally superfluous. Because nobody can get involved. We mature into our personality incredibly.  But is there a benefit for Africa? But who should we reproach?

I don’t want to badmouth those who come down here as volunteers. Because they are lured by it to engage themselves socially in a developing country.  But behind most of the projects and organisations there is simply commerce.  Commerce, which is sold as charity work and is also supported by the German Federal Ministry for Development Cooperation (BMZ).

School leavers are no help for a traumatised child

But the biggest losers are those who expect help from the volunteers. Mostly children who are traumatized. Someone who has just finished school is no help to a traumatized child. But the child does not know this and tries to get involved with someone who has come to stay.

Which is clear to me that it cannot go on like this!

It is certainly not for me to judge the machinations of other voluntary services, but it is clear to me that it cannot go on like this! For me, what is sold as “voluntary service” is modern colonialism. In a globalized world, where apparently everything is possible; where everyone wants to be connected with everyone else, it is not possible that only the one or the other has the possibility to use it. It will always be just the ones who win.

In the times of colonialism, the oppressed people adopted the faith of the conquerors from Europe. Today most of the strength is drawn from this belief. For me it is somehow an irony in itself.  You accept the faith of those who enslaved and exploited you.

Probably this was not entirely voluntary, but faith is a main pillar of the country today.  The question I ask myself is, what can we give to the people in modern colonialism? Only empty promises!

Dear friends/ acquaintances, family and readers, I hope I am not boring you with my reports.  But these problems are real. And I cannot close my eyes to them.  Because they are people with names and faces!  We must not forget that.

Forgotten, closed eyes and empty promises there are far too many. It must not be allowed to happen that next year thousands of young people will set out again to do something good. Because the consequences will be borne by those who have other problems.

I can only remind you what a worthwhile life we live. Remember that.

In this sense I wish you all the best from Ghana!

Your Leo…

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