Two very different campaigns are trending on Social Media platforms right now. The first one #Refugenes, aims to portray refugees in a more positive light by showing how well they have integrated into society. Celebrities like Jamie Cullum and Rita Ora talk about how they are descendants of refugees that fled various war torn countries. This campaign has been started by the charity Help Refugees.
The other, very different campaign is the White Savior Barbie campaign, this pokes fun at Westerners that travel to poor countries to volunteer. What is being made fun of is not the gesture but the self satisfaction in the major sacrifice that they have made by coming to these impoverished nations. Ironically, the campaign was started by two self professed “White Savior Barbies’ who in retrospect felt that their volunteerism was more self-centered than self-sacrificing!
Why is it that we need to feel that people are like us, to want to help them? Or have people we admire tell us about the Refugee in them to want to sympathize with Refugees in general? And is it true volunteerism, when we help the less privileged to feel good about ourselves? Does it matter at all what the motives are if good is being done?