As a leader in the aid sector I accept it has perpetuated problematic myths. Celebrity hugs won’t solve global inequality
Tonight will see Comic Relief raise millions, which will go towards poverty alleviation around the world. As the chief executive of Christian Aid, there aren’t many people more in favour of helping the world’s most marginalised groups than me. But as a black African woman, I regularly have to face up to the challenges highlighted in the recent exchange between TV presenter Stacey Dooley and MP David Lammy on the issue of so-called “white saviours”.
On the one hand, we know we need people in public life to raise awareness of issues of global injustice and poverty. They act as go-betweens, bringing the heartbreaking reality of abject poverty into the homes of ordinary British people and encouraging them to help. On the other hand, there is the knowledge that the way we frame these stories paints some as the saviours and others as those without autonomy and in need of salvation.