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Which Countries Have Beggar Gangs? Tim Asked Poverty #NGO
If you are planning to travel, I say spend some time in an urban area in the United States to train yourself on handling beggars. In my own neighborhood, I get asked for money and won't give it, but if I have my shopping, I offer a banana or apple. 90percent of the time, they turn down the food! This hardens you to the beggars a bit rather than being caught off guard.
I have a hard time with what to do about poor people since I feel that the economic system doesn't provide enough work to go around, but I really hate the way organizations help people and don't want to donate through them. We thought we were doing the right thing and helped two schools with art projects through Mayan Families. I am not sure we did a lot of direct damage since they were one off type of things, but when talking to them we learned about the organization and afterwards we felt uncomfortable about working with them. It wasn't as much the creation of beggars in our minds, but it seemed the type of help they gave people was implicitly conditional on them acting more American/European. I felt like it was a sort of cultural imperialism. The Mayan people we met had many skills and except for the dirt poor people, had more stable lives than working class Americans since they didn't have debts and had much more stable family structures. Since then we have been much more discerning about helping or donating money to anything. Our instincts were also confirmed by watching Poverty Inc. Still, we would like to help people if we can find a proper way to do it.