Sorry for the lack of posts, it’s taken me two weeks to say goodbye to my entire family around Mauritius, no exaggeration.
I was glad to be invited to a non-profit home for elderly people in Mauritius and one of the board of directors and I were talking about how we were irritated when people would dump their crap for charity. I hope people will realize how disrespectful it is to give dirty things for charity.
I used to work with former refugees who were going to study at my university and we were responsible for collecting all the material things they needed for school and living like clothes and kitchenware. Every year, when we send the list of the specific items we needed and we got boxes of dirty clothes or bedsheets with blood on them. By the time we filtered the things we could use and things we couldn’t, we had to throw away other people’s junk.
I know many people have the mentality that “Poor people be grateful for whatever people give them.” Those same people also deserve the same dignity as everyone else and also the choice to say no. Some people get irritated when homeless people refuse food that is offered, but they have a choice. Even if you would act differently in the case that you were trying to survive on the street, that is your choice.
I don’t give anything to non-profits that I wouldn’t personally use myself. When I saw some of the dirty things that people dumped on us, I asked myself, “Would I use this?” If I said no, then I wouldn’t give it to the people we were supporting.
When I was working with an NGO in Cambodia, an expat whispered to me, “Don’t give the Cambodians the good utensils for their home, we could keep it for the kitchen.” As if the Cambodian people didn’t deserve the same standard as expats because we were somehow better in her mind.
I respect people who respect me no matter what their income, profession, or nationality is. When I give a gift to a friend, I give it from my heart and also respect their dignity. I more people will too over time.