is giving selfish?

just one project school in nepalHow could giving to kids on the street be selfish? Just-one is a hands-on organisation in Nepal and every day they see the consequences of people’s good intentions. Try to put yourself in the place of these vulnerable young children…

– I need reasons to get off the streets – not to stay on them!

– I’m too young to know that any of the nice things you may kindly give me will only encourage me to continue begging on the street – which is no place for a child like me.

– I just don’t realise that all the Nepali rupees, biscuits, fruit, coca-cola, sandwiches, clothing, pencils, new shoes, friendly chats, heartfelt hugs and all the other nice things that many generous people give me every day, will do nothing more than keep me on these very dangerous streets!

– Here on the street many other kids like me get trapped into destructive and violent lives of petty-crime, drugs and prostituion. Each extra day that I’m encouraged to spend here, by people like you, the chance of the same thing happening to me increases and any hope of the better life that you might wish for me gets smaller and smaller.

– With an endless flow of kind tourists I choose to stay here, but once I am no longer cute enough to beg from people like you, I will eventually be trapped in a hopeless life of hardship.

– You might feel a little better about a sad situation, but I promise you it will not help me!

That’s the tough reality for kids on the street – by tossing them the odd coin or piece of fruit you are encouraging them to continue and hampering the work of local organisations like Just-one, who can offer these children long-term support.

Just-one is The Intrepid Foundation’s newest community project and we’re pleased to be able to support a non-government organisation that is so passionate about providing real solutions for Nepal’s vulnerable children. Just-one focuses on greater stability, support, education and vocational training for disadvantaged children, including street kids and those living with their impoverished families or those required to work for a living.

If you really want to help the children of Nepal and other countries, remember that whatever you choose to do will also influence the kids and the choices that they make. Just-one urges us not to forget that giving can be selfish!

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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What an excellent article and spot on! People want to do good and feel guilty when denying beggars but by assuaging their guilt, they’re actually doing harm. Thanks for putting us readers in the shoes of those we think we’re “helping” to see the real consequences.

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