We have all at some point told what we have heard or over heard or overheard thrice removed, but today I really did hear that girls in Africa who are sent dresses with a tag of some kind saying “Made in America”, are not as likely to be trafficked into sex slavery or treated wrongly. It was reported that each girl would be considered as having someone watching over them. Now, it could be true, but it could be a hopeful wish on the part of the “do-gooders” to make themselves feel better about their dress making project. How could that be measured anyway? Are we snobs to think that all people would want US made items? That the US protection reaches all places of turmoil and places a protective hedge around the little girls so they can be grateful to us is a bit much.
Would we follow the dresses and interview the recipients, or put tracking devises in each tag? I am all for helping our fellow man, but not so we can manipulate the outcome. So if buying pillow cases and adding decorative ribbon to make dresses for small girls in Africa makes one feel good and helps the little girls, then it is a worthy project. But if the people who receive the gift decide to stitch them up and reuse them as pillow cases then our gift will still be just that…a gift from the heart cheerfully given so that the receiver can determine how it best can be utilized and the giver will benefit from the generous space from which giving pours forth.
I don’t think the people sending dresses or food often think or know totally what the ramifications are of the actions. But it is a cause and effect type situation. The U.S. tags could also put a target on the girls in some districts. If I were to have said that to the people who were trying to do a good deed, it would not have been very well received. But I wonder if my forward thinking and speaking up on the little ones behalf would have saved a life. We want to relieve poverty and so we send nice things, but if we speed up their death is it really us relieving them of the struggle or is it just that?