This question has been on my mind for sometime now. Due to the current economic environment we have struggled to get volunteers from the traditional sources to out to our project in SW Uganda. I did wonder if Africa could tap into the skills and knowledge on the ground?
The other reason this is on my mind is that the Obama administration’s policy toward Africa appears to be one of tough love. You the Africans have to get your house in order, you need to start trading with each are some of the messages that have come from both Obama and Clinton. I wholly subcribe to that kind of thinking.
I would wonder therefore if folk on the ground will rise to the challenge and form their own NGO’s for instance. Whilst thinking about this idea of “Africa growing its won volunteers” I do wonder too whether it is a question of how voluntary work is organised in Africa. Africans families tend to be very large (extended) and every one helps out including whole villages when required. However voluntary in the western world appears to be orgnaised in what I would describe as a formal structure.
But what about Africans in the diaspora, Could they take time out to go and volunteer in their countries of origin? Certainly this is something that the Department for International development (DFID) is keen to encourage so much so that they have joined forces with the VSO and come up with a whole programmes to encourage Africans in the diaspora to volunteer. I am however not sure how well publicised this programme is.
Have you got a view on this either way? Are you an African that has participated in the VSO diaspora programme? If so how did you find it?
If you are an African that would like to volunteer would you know where to start?
Would you be interested in your views