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The Spirit of Giving – Starting Young

November 4, 2010

Last week, Nicholas Kristof wrote an article featuring a young woman by the name of Maggie Doyne.   Perhaps not surprisingly, Maggie Doyne is not South Asian or South Asian American.   Also, Maggie Doyne is not wealthy (by U.S. standards).  Despite not being wealthy or South Asian, Maggie Doyne has been astonishingly philanthropic  in South Asia.

She began by using $5000 she raised babysitting to send a few young girls to school in Nepal and has now raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to start a school in the same region.  Maggie is only 23.

I have deeply conflicted feelings about (often rich) white folks going to Asia (or anywhere abroad really) to “do good.”  I am suspicious of their intentions and their attitudes while there.    Over time my feelings about this phenomena have changed, and I have to say Ms. Doyne’s efforts and philanthropy are inspiring.

I know there are many young people of South Asian background who are doing amazing things too.  I hope to feature them in upcoming posts.

 

 

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 5, 2010 6:29 pm

    I would be interested to learn more about your “conflicted feelings” on transnational giving. In your post, you framed this as a matter of “(often rich) white folks going to Asia…to do good” and your concerns over their “intentions and their attitudes.” Of course, giving from any individual or group not intimately familiar with the community receiving a donation could have positive or negative effects. For example, ethnicity or wealth might have little or no impact on a person’s knowledge of the needs and interests of a community in another country. Additionally, communities on the receiving end of charity from individuals in the US might or might not have strong feelings about soliciting or using such aid. This is an important if controversial topic and one which I encourage you to talk about more in the future.

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