Friday, 5 February 2010

Affluence is not happiness!

"I want to go back to my daddy, because my mommy gave my sister and me away!", says the nine-year old Ines*. There has been hardly a sentence spoken in the last few days that better sums up the situation of the 33 children. They all feel distinctively that they have been given away. Some thought they were going to some great school, some had no idea where the trip was taking them. But they had a sense that they wouldn't see their parents again.

With every day that passes, the actions of the ten Americans seem ever more questionable and outrageous. The thin veil of religious righteousness barely disguises a shocking arrogance and total disregard of the parents' human dignity as well as of the children's needs and best interests.

Just think: A group of self-proclaimed missionaries from one of the richest countries in the world travels to one of the poorest, one that has been hit by a dreadful disaster to boot. Once there, they convince parents that their children will lead a life of misery if they stay with them, that they are unfit to take proper care of them, and that they, the missionaries, know better how to give them a good life. This patronising attitude can not, in my opinion, be justified by any religion whatsoever. The love of the children for their parents, their relatives and their home, it would seem, is irrelevant. The paradise beyond the border that these people promise is one of material commodities only. Happiness, apparently, is an orphanage with a pool and a football field, is "having it all". All, that is, except for the trust in the love of one's own parents, the most important people in anyone's life. Affluence equals happiness. And this is supposed to be a religious creed? I think not.

* Name altered for reasons of privacy


  1. Thank you. Thank you for seeing this situtation for what it is and and giving voice to it. Thank you most of all for taking care of the children.

  2. Thanks Georg, for putting this in the right perspective! And for daring to speak up!

    Hanne R

  3. That's quite a presumptuous opinion. A good parent would want their child to have a better life. Obviously, the parents in Haiti cannot be classified as 'good'.