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Social Issues
Africa For Norway: Spoof Charity Video Asks Africans To Donate Radiators To Freezing Norwegians
November 19, 2012
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Here's a really clever video that makes a point about how the western world tends to view Africa.

The video is called 'Africa For Norway' and it was made by a Norwegian group calling itself 'Radi-Aid'.

On the group's website, organizers ask people to think about this question...

"If we say Africa, what do you think about? Hunger, poverty, crime or AIDS? No wonder, because in fundraising campaigns and media that's mainly what you hear about."

Hard to argue. Whether it's a charity appeal on TV, or a story in the news, Africa is often seen through a narrow lens.

And in some respects, you can understand why. Hunger and poverty and disease are very real, horrific and unnecessary problems.

But as 'Radi-Aid' says "While these images can engage people in the short term, we are concerned that many people simply give up because it seems like nothing is getting better. Africa should not just be something that people either give to, or give up on."

In the video at the top of the page, 'Radi-Aid' calls on all Africans to help send radiators to Norway - to help freezing children survive the cold winter.

It's done in the spirit of 'Band aid' and 'Do They Know It's Christmas' from 1984.

"Imagine if every person in Africa saw the "Africa for Norway" video and this was the only information they ever got about Norway," the group says. "What would they think about Norway?"

The point, organizers say, is that we don't see enough positive stories about Africa related to politics, culture, business and education.

"We need to change the simplistic explanations of problems in Africa. We need to educate ourselves on the complex issues and get more focus on how western countries have a negative impact on Africa's development," the group says.

"If we want to address the problems the world is facing we need to do it based on knowledge and respect."

Organizers with 'Radi-Aid' say they want:

1. Fundraising that isn't based on exploiting stereotypes.

2. Better information about what is going on in the world, in schools, in TV and media.

3. Media: Show respect.

4. Aid must be based on real needs, not "good" intentions.

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