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Should we help people in other countries as long as there are problems in our own society?

lisalisa Posts: 2,162 ✭✭✭
Some people believe that we should not help people in other countries as long as there are problems in our own society. I disagree with this view because I believe that we should try to help as many people as possible.

On the one hand, I accept that it is important to help our neighbours and fellow citizens. In most communities there are people who are impoverished or disadvantaged in some way. It is possible to find homeless people, for example, in even the wealthiest of cities, and for those who are concerned about this problem, there are usually opportunities to volunteer time or give money to support those people. In the UK, people can help in a variety of ways, from donating clothing to serving free food in a soup kitchen. As the problems are on our doorstep, and there are obvious ways to help, I can understand why some people feel that we should prioritise local charity.

At the same time, I believe that we have an obligation to help those who live beyond our national borders. In some countries the problems that people face are much more serious than those in our own communities, and it is often even easier to help. For example, when children are dying from curable diseases in African countries, governments and individuals in richer countries can save lives simply by paying for vaccines that already exist. A small donations to an international charity might have a much greater impact than helping in our local area.

In conclusion, it is true we can not help everyone, but in my opinion national boundaries should not stop us from helping those who are in need.


  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 39,640 ✭✭✭✭
    This is a very good question @lisa. I agree with you that it shouldn't matter about where people are being helped. I do think Britain has a lot to be ashamed of however. As a rich country, it should be able to help a lot more the destitute and homeless who live in Britain. But I don't think this should be at the cost of the foreign aid they provide to poor countries.

    I run a charity that helps pay for teachers in Nepal @lisa. It is very small and the salaries too - about £1500 a year is enough to pay for a teacher to work in a village school.
  • lisalisa Posts: 2,162 ✭✭✭
    @mheredge Almost every natural disasters happen in China, government summon us to donate money or related objects for the people in those areas, and soliders are sent to help local people to evacuate or rebuild their houses. But I do think government has a lot to be ashamed of, too. Especially the famous institution nameds Red Cross, almost every minute this institution accepts donations from China or the whole world, but I do not think it can explain clearly where this huge amount of money go and whom are paid for. Compared with chinese government, British government does a much better job.

    You are such a great person to help teachers, who are the most important factor for a country.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 39,640 ✭✭✭✭
    @lisa I have an American friend who seriously criticizes how the American Red Cross misspends the vast amounts of money donated when there are disasters. He's a doctor and worked in Haiti and a few other places following earthquakes.
  • lisalisa Posts: 2,162 ✭✭✭
    @mheredge If you have time, you can goolge one girl whose name is MEIMEI GUO, who is a Chinese internet celebrity. Do you know how she became famous? By showing her luxury life and goods she owns, such as LV handbags, cars, and so on. She told people her adopted father was the chairman of Chinese Red Cross, from that time on, Chinese was wondering whether or not they should donate money and objects to Red Cross when there were emergency issues in China. For me, I have not donated money to Red Cross from this event, and lots of Chinese should say "thanks" to this girl, although she is a bit stupid, in my mind.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 39,640 ✭✭✭✭
    I think the Red Cross does admirable work but Medecins Sans Frontieres is the charity that I think are amazing and do the best work @lisa.
  • lisalisa Posts: 2,162 ✭✭✭
    Actually I am not quite sure whether Chinese Red Cross does the same thing or not, and maybe that is the most Chinese concern.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 39,640 ✭✭✭✭
    It is probably run differently in every country @lisa. Generally however, the much bigger charities and organisations are more wasteful than the smaller, more efficient ones.
  • lisalisa Posts: 2,162 ✭✭✭
    After the internet star event, I do not donated any money or objects to Chinese Red Cross. @mheredge
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 39,640 ✭✭✭✭
    Probably this is wise @lisa. Some charities don't work as effectively as they should.
  • lisalisa Posts: 2,162 ✭✭✭
    Yes, and I do a favor to someone who needs help in my common life, as much as I can, not matter who they are, where they come from @mheredge
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 39,640 ✭✭✭✭
    This looks like a very worthwhile project.


    "A unique village containing 11 purpose-built two bedroom homes has been opened in Edinburgh, all with the intention of housing homeless people.

    The project from the homelessness charity Social Bite is aiming to provide a stable and supportive community for 20 people for the next 12 to 18 months."
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 39,640 ✭✭✭✭
    Shame this can't happen more often.


    Birmingham New Street was transformed into a huge dining hall so rough sleepers could get a Christmas dinner and sing carols. In the UK, there are no trains running on Christmas Day, so they were able to use the station.

  • lisalisa Posts: 2,162 ✭✭✭
    Poor people, Christmas equals to Chinese traditional spring festival, during which families usually sitting together and enjoy some delicious food.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 39,640 ✭✭✭✭
    A lady who has a restaurant in the tourist area of Kathmandu cooked up lunch for the street children and gave them some warm clothes. This morning I bumped into one of the boys who had come for lunch. He looked warm in his new jacket, but with bare feet in flip flops, his feet must have been freezing.
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