The importance of being charitable (it looks great on your resume)
Roughing it in sleeping bags for five days have led a few university kids-turned-regular-Gandis to come to the conclusion that we mustn’t ‘give up’ on the homeless.
March 18, 2012 3:59 by kippreport
Our ambivalence toward ‘charity’ organisations and ‘charitable’ gestures has been reawakened after watching the Kony 2012 debacle unfold these past two weeks. We were reminded yet again of just how dodgy the question of ‘charity’ really is, when this morning we read about some of Dubai’s own youthful charitably souls at the Canadian University of Dubai who have been raising money for a UK charity, Homeless International. Why not raise money for the homeless in the UAE you ask, well we aren’t quite certain. All we know is this campaign is receiving much credit for its ‘unusual’ execution.
“To truly understand the plight of homeless youth and raise funds for the cause, students at the Canadian University of Dubai (CUD) undertook a unique project…. by sleeping on the university premises in sleeping bags. They had to “beg” for food as they were not allowed to carry money and communication devices, and access to ablution facilities was also denied” Gulf News tells us.
The students, who managed to raise Dh13, 000, have learnt that living in a cushiony sleeping bag, with a pillow and a blanket within the secure premises of your own campus is a difficult experience.: “It was hard with the sand, not showering for a week and sleeping on the ground, but we did it” said one student. For some reason, they believe they have learnt a lot about how it feels to be homeless. Rather strange, seeing as the students were sleeping in a secure environment, went to classes where they had access to their computers and interacted with their friends whom they had to ‘beg’ for food. Well they didn’t really have to beg for food, because as Nigerian student Tiwa Omope, tells Gulf News, “when people became aware of the campaign” it was easier to secure their meals.
But perhaps, Kipp’s being reductive here. Just because, the students didn’t quite ‘rough’ it out, it doesn’t mean they haven’t come away with profound insights on the human condition: “We didn’t really know about the psychological and physical aspects and now it has helped my thinking about homeless people. I don’t think we should give up on them” says 21 year old Omope. We shouldn’t give up on them? Wow, spoken like a true sheltered child of Dubai.