Research Proposal-Kirsten Smith

My thesis for this research project is going to be something to the effect of, “Philanthropy doesn’t help the people it’s supposed to.” I read the article about the Toms shoes and how they don’t usually reach the right kids and how these shoes put local shoe salesmen in Africa out of business and it intrigued me. I also remembered our class assignment about polio eradication and how millions of dollars are spent on “helping” the few people it could effect. I also found a story about how after the tsunami (I think the one in Sri Lanka) that they were flooded with donations of rice while 15 or so miles down the road local rice crops were fine and had been flourishing, but no body would buy the local rice because so much was available for free and the farmers suffered. It made me wonder how much more often these kinds of philanthropic movements harm more people than it helps or how often more people are suffering than benefiting.

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