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(Formerly Peace Dividend Trust/PDT Global) We build markets, create jobs, and sustain peace in developing countries by championing local entrepreneurs and connecting them to new business opportunities. Learn more at our website
We hope you had a restful and joyous New Year! Our project is going well and we’re excited – and to that end, here are some recent stories of Afghanistan, human rights, and markets in the news. Let us know of any interesting or relevant articles or pieces you see in your reading travels!
Shopkeepers and businesspeople affected by the fire at Kabul’s Mandawi (main commercial district) are exempt from tax for the next 4 years – Wadsam Afghan News Business Portal
The video is humorous, but there is a serious message. The point is that images of helpless Africans are just as inaccurate as the idea of helpless freezing Norwegians. A lot of Africans cannot relate to the patronizing videos and development initiatives.
The organization says it has certain goals with the video. Among them, that fundraising “should not be based on exploiting stereotypes” and that media should have more respect in portraying suffering children.
“We want to see more nuances,” it writes on its website. “We want to know about positive developments in Africa and developing countries, not only about crises, poverty and AIDS. We need more attention on how western countries have a negative impact on developing countries.”
This is an incredibly brave TEDx talk by David Damberger from Engineers Without Borders Canada about the nature of aid and the importance of recognizing, publicizing, and learning from aid failure. Dave now works for Ethical Ocean, but here he discusses his experience overseas and EWB’s current work in Malawi to illustrate some of the idiotic failures happening in international development and how they can be avoided.
“We have to stop infantilizing Haiti,” Ms. Jean said in an interview from Ottawa. “Aid is good in a crisis situation. But once the crisis is over, you have to build on what’s sustainable.”
Trade-not-aid has become a new mantra in post-earthquake Haiti as President Michel Martelly struggles to rebuild an economically shattered nation. Although Haiti has long been heavily reliant on foreign assistance, funnelled through thousands of NGOs, Ms. Jean says it’s time for a “profound change in the paradigm.”
“People want to get out of their total dependence on international aid,” she said. Jobs are crucial in a nation where more than half the population is under age 25. “You can’t think about development on the basis of charity. The Haitian people love to work.”
Preach. We agree: providing jobs and growing the Haitian economy is important to long-term growth and security.
We’ve got a problem at PDT. We’re very good at some things, like helping to create jobs, championing local entrepreneurs, and foosball.
We can do this…
But we’re very bad at other things, like telling our story, the stories of the people we help, and karaoke.
…but not this.
And that’s where you come in. We are looking for a journalism fellow. To be as accurate and objective as possible and to distinguish it from other, lesser fellowships, we’re calling this one the:
“Best. Fellowship. Ever.”
[Cue jazz hands]
Eligible Applicants: You. Especially if you are currently attending j-school.
Application Procedure: Do not send us an earnest cover letter. Do not send us your padded CV. And please please please do not get your Mom to call us. Instead, upload a 60 second YouTube video explaining why you’re going to be a great foreign correspondent. Add the tag “PDT’s Best Fellowship Ever” to your video, and you’re done. The successful applicant will have the charisma of Anderson Cooper, the story-telling prowess of Hans Christian Anderson, and the production skills of Wes Anderson:
Fellowship Description: The successful candidate will be provided with a stipend and will be asked to perform the following tasks:
Plan and prepare for a 2-week foreign assignment covering PDT’s work abroad. Working part-time and remotely with PDT staff, this phase will be wrapped up by late December.
Travel to PDT’s country offices in Port au Prince, Monrovia, and Kabul. There our team will look after your logistics and accommodation, and help you arrange interviews with the local entrepreneurs we’ve helped, and the people they employ. Ideally, this will be undertaken between December 26th and January 9th. (You’ll be spending New Years Eve in Kabul, sure, but on the upside you’ll still get to be home for Christmas.)
Blog about your travels, the entrepreneurs you meet, and the things you see.
Edit and produce short video spots (30-90 second) based on these interviews, and…
Write a dozen 200-500 word pieces telling their stories. (To be completed, along with the videos, by February 1st, 2012.)
Application Deadline: Post your slick video by December 14th, and 2 weeks later you’ll find yourself ordering a whiskey and singing karaoke at the legendary Gandamack Lodge in Kabul. It’s that simple.