How NOT to Help the Poor

One of the biggest dilemmas right now in places like Haiti is the unintended consequences of crisis relief without long-term vision for indigenous empowerment and cultural revitalization.  For example, see Exhibit A from this past week.  A book that I have been reading that is incredibly helpful (and a manual for our work in Haiti) is When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert.  I highly encouraged those doing cross-cultural mission work, especially in third-world countries, to read this book.

Also this week, I came across this video below which discusses again examples of how not to help the poor.  In our country alone, millions have been spent on “the war on poverty”–a war Americans are losing because of bad strategy and wrong presuppositions.  Check it out.

Explore posts in the same categories: Haiti, Missions

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3 Comments on “How NOT to Help the Poor”

  1. Alan Cross Says:


    I just posted on this book today and am reading it as well. I was thinking the other day that I’d like our team going to Haiti in the Spring to read it ahead of time. We’re thinking along the same lines.

    I’m going to repost this video on my blog and link to you here.

  2. John Says:

    I’ve been reading the book and it is really causing me to re-think the way we do short term mission trips and forcing me to take a look at the way we do benevolence ministry…

  3. […] of wholistic ministry” (to the poor). This is a little follow up on last week’s post on how NOT to help the poor.  The three […]

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