In his usual biting and sometimes sarcastic style, Illich goes to the heart of the deep dangers of paternalism inherent in any voluntary service activity, but especially in any international service "mission. I was impressed by your insight that the motivation of U. I was equally impressed, by what I interpret as a step forward among would-be volunteers like you: openness to the idea that the only thing you can legitimately volunteer for in Latin America might be voluntary powerlessness, voluntary presence as receivers, as such, as hopefully beloved or adopted ones without any way of returning the gift. I was equally impressed by the hypocrisy of most of you: by the hypocrisy of the atmosphere prevailing here. I say this as a brother speaking to brothers and sisters. I say it against many resistances within me; but it must be said.

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To enable one to develop a better sense of social responsibility and community engagement. Tool Description: In recent years, there has been astonishing growth in international programming that embeds service-learning or some form of community engagement.

The planned service-learning program should be focus of discussion. Alternatively, a sample case study has been provided. Tool Procedures: 1. Students should be required to read the transcript of the famous speech by Illich prior to the group meeting, as follows: a. Illich, I. To hell with good intentions. Conference on Inter-American Student Projects. Cuernavaca, Mexico. Initiate a discussion with the students by posing various questions about the upcoming service-learning program.

What is the nature of the program and the program purpose? What type of work will be done? Are materials are being brought with the group and at what cost or bought locally? Who are the community partners and how have they been engaged in the development of this program? Are any local people being hired to work with the group, and if so, at what remuneration?

How much will it cost for each student to participate in the upcoming program? Calculate the total amount it will cost for the full group. What is the average annual income of a person in the host country? Relate the total cost of the program to the number of annual salaries earned in the host country. What is the language spoken in the host country? Determine how many students in the group speak the host country language.

As time allows, work through the small group discussions with students. Select students to read aloud each passage. Consider the following facilitation questions for large group discussions: a. What can you do before and during your time abroad to learn about diverse cultures within the host country? Why do you need to go there?

What will you bring that is needed i. Why not just send the resources? How have you been preparing yourself for this service-learning program? After the small group discussions, move from Illich to facilitate a broader discussion of what all of this means for the upcoming service-learning program.

Discuss the expressed needs of the host community, the needs and goals of the students themselves, and the broader issues of reciprocity and equity. Review the goals of the service-learning program and how the program will respond to the stated needs and goals of the host community. Upon return, facilitate a discussion on social responsibility and community engagement with students. Ask what they will be doing differently now that they have participated in this particular service-learning program and how they will continue to engage in service now that they are back, whether on campus or in the local community.

Tool Evaluation: Based on the discussion-based activity and the reading of Ivan Illich, each student should submit a page reflection paper prior to departure addressing one of the following questions: If I believe that I should still go on this trip, what do I need to learn about myself and my own culture before I go?

Before I go, how will I learn about [Ethiopia] and the diverse [Ethiopian] cultures with which I will have contact? What are the pitfalls of travel that Illich mentions that most worry me? How can I avoid those? How can I meet [Ethiopians] who can tell me to "go to hell" and therefore try to develop meaningful relationships with them?

Tool Time Requirement: At least one class session prior to departure. Tool Author s : Adapted by A. Ogden, E. Hartman and A.


Thoughts on “To Hell With Good Intentions” by Ivan Illich

He basically tells them they are not wanted, that they are insulting the host country they are trying to help, and could never dream of reaching the audience they intended to. Programs that seek to "better" developing countries are counterproductive. So, to hell with good intentions, stay home. Ivan, in my defense, I have no good intentions. I did not come to Ecuador to help. That is not my place.

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Tetaur Home About Contact Info. You might also have invited me because you want to learn how to deal with people who think the way I do — how to dispute with them successfully, and how to refute them. In Mexico, it is a tiny elite. It is only among these people that you will find your educational equals.

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