This ad frustrates me.
I believe that guilt does not genuinely inspire change agents. Perhaps a few of the 1.7 million people who have watched this video will feel so bad about themselves that they’ll click Water Is Life’s donate button placed next to a picture of a sad-looking black child. But these sorts of one-time “sorry I’m such a brat, Developing World” donations are just a stop-gap solution to the global water crisis.
We should be trying to shift our culture of greed by convincing donors to not just see poor people as guilt-inducers but as fellow humans. I think Half the Sky is a good example of a movement that effectively directs compassion toward the implementation of sustainable development. The movement introduces the public to inspiring individuals in resource-poor nations, and indicates concrete ways we can make a difference beyond monetary donations.
If you choose to donate, do it for the right reasons–whatever ‘right’ means to you.