A Story A Day – Savior Complex

Today's "story" is not going to be a story but rather some thoughts I have had since I moved to Kenya and from Kenya to the US.

I was watching a documentary on civil wars and their consequences on Sudan and got upset about a certain quote I later posted on facebook.

"In a world virtually unchanged since the very first outsiders came to save South Sudan."

It is absolutely beyond me how people keep assuming that Africa needs to be "saved", whether that is South Sudan, Kenya or any other country classified as a "developing country". I am outraged by this assumption because to me, it implies the inability of a population to help themselves. An assumption that completely contradicts everything I believe in and work for.

I believe in my children, I believe in Kenya, I believe in Africa. I believe that some nations struggle more than others but I believe the people of nations that are currently facing economic difficulties are just as capable as any other human being to make a difference, to take care of themselves without having to "be saved".

Who are we to put ourselves in the position of the "good savior"? It makes me sick.

I recently took a class on "Contention and Conflict in Africa" that only reinforced this opinion: Cutting up Africa during the Berlin Conference of 1884/5, European powers drawing borders across Ethnic land while exploiting its people and resources.

If we are to use the word "save", I argue "saving" Africa comes about 130 years late. No one "saved" Africa from the utter selfishness and brutality of Colonialism.

About two months ago I read a blog published by a missionary from the US, who described her experience arriving in Kenya as disappointing because she was expecting "kids that were half naked and covered in bug bites", she couldn't "fall in love with Nairobi" because it did not fulfill her dreams of lacking development. Because it did not need to be "saved".*

Too many emotions so let me stop here, feel free to get back to me and share your thoughts.

*(read post here: https://jestidwell.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/it-didnt-happen-like-i-thought-it-would/)

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