Published on June 7th, 2014 | by iDidGo Blog Team
Why Trust in Tusk Trust
Our UK readers may have seen in the papers recently that a SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) study has recently become a large thorn in the flank of the Fair Trade brand. Also in that of us well intentioned gentrified folk wandering through Waitrose trying to buying ‘ethically’. How convenient it was to pay a few pennies more for coffee and educate Ethiopians!
As convenient as it is to trust these so called ‘ethical’ brands, it is always good to go and check for yourself every now and then. We’re young enough to go and do just that! Fortunately Tusk is doing a great job, and we will only be reminding you of how important their work is.
An incredibly human-sized team has reached out to so many people over their 24 years of existence that they have raised 20 MILLION POUNDS. That’s not even the best of it, Tusk has a foot in 17 African countries, through 52 different projects, that’s a lot of feet… It was one of the few charities whose work we could follow throughout most of our drive, offering the best kind of stopover you could hope for on our 15,000km journey.
Yet, that wasn’t the crucial factor for me. Western aid has had a controversial impact in Africa for far too long, for the simple reason that no one thought Africans could help themselves.
“Only Africans [are] capable of making a difference in Africa. All the others, donors and volunteers and bankers, however idealistic, [are] simply agents of subversion.”
― Paul Theroux, Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town
Well Tusk did. With its holistic approach to conservation, it has been promoting environmental education, sustainable development and a balance between communities and wildlife in Africa for longer than I’ve been alive. In the short run, it is irresistibly tempting to focus on saving rhinos and elies. Tusk pushed their horizon further and further though, forever diagnosing the ills of African ecology to find the root of the problem, not just to put a plaster on a broken leg. Through workshops and courses for young and old, Tusk endorsed projects seek to open African eyes to the riches on their doorstep, and how they can benefit from them.
Don’t tell the hungry man he can’t poach to feed his family, but show him how to make a chilli bomb (literally) to keep the elephants off his crops and he might not have to!