thought I'd post this here~ Reality Show Meets Reality in Burkina Faso during The Amazing Race
The people of Burkina Faso are known for their friendliness. So it is no wonder that they would stand by politely and hand-out clues to Americans in the "reality" The Amazing Race. In one of the poorest countries in the world, where the average annual income per person is less than a racer's ticket from Amsterdam to Ouagadaugau, the most amazing thing about this show is the irony of the contrast between the racers and their surroundings. World in Need, Inc., is launching their new web site this week featuring thousands of children throughout the world and hundreds from Burkina Faso - looking for an opportunity to improve their lives, not just for a few days but permanently!"
Ft. Lauderdale, FL (PRWEB) November 28, 2007 -- The people of Burkina Faso are a proud, yet kind people - descendants of a warrior empire that lasted over 800 years. They are also known for their optimism amidst adversity, friendliness and hospitality. So it is no wonder that they would stand by politely and hand-out clues to Americans in a 'reality' TV show called The Amazing Race. In one of the poorest countries in the world, where the average annual income per person is less than a racer's ticket from the previous episode in Amsterdam to Ouagadaugau, the capital of Burkina Faso, the most amazing thing about this show is the irony of the contrast between the racers and their surroundings.
In Episode 3 last week, a girl is having a hard time milking a camel and is clearly distraught. The poor, hobbled camel is also having a hard time as she pokes, prods and grabs its sensitive nipples to get that elusive milk. In other scenes, race participants are struggling to drink the camel's milk! The irony is that 40,000 people in Burkina Faso are still struggling to find food after floods destroyed their crops just a few short months ago. That milk could have fed several children. World in Need, through their new website, is helping the hungry children in Burkina Faso , providing food, clothing, medical supplies and other assistance through local community organizations.
Later in the show, the participants must learn some of the native language at a local schoolhouse. It's all very exciting and challenging, until you notice that this schoolhouse is really just a broken down shanty. Water is leaking from what looks like a rusty metal roof that is falling down (in the top middle of this photo). The dirt floor is covered with a pool of water. The desks the racers and school children are sitting at are just slabs of rough-hewn boards. World in Need works with local communities to provide school supplies where needed...and when needed they even help build the schools.
The Amazing Race can be just the beginning of a new beginning for Burkina Faso
In last Sunday's episode, the teams seemed to take a little more notice of their surroundings. One team, Kynt and Vyxsin, seemed to make the connection more than the others. You have to give the show credit for including this scene at the end of the show. The young "goths" mentioned how everyone made them feel welcome and then, with tears in her eyes, Vyxsin said, "It's heartbreaking to see such wonderful people having to live with so little."
In this impoverished country, The Amazing Race was ultimately a bright, if not too brief, ray of sunshine. The local people at least enjoyed a little extra income and probably quite a bit of entertainment as well. But no doubt the entertainment value of the show has long since worn off, and the money that the film crew brought with them didn't last very long. The problems in Burkina Faso won't go away in just a week. They're systemic, and need long-term commitment for a real solution.
World in Need, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization, has been working with local community leaders in Burkina Faso to do just that. According to Warren Goff, Director of World in Need, their new web site being launched this week (http://www.winkids.org
) features thousands of children throughout the world - over 300 from poor families and orphanages in Burkina Faso - looking for an opportunity to improve their lives, not just for a few days but permanently! "The Amazing Race can be just the beginning of a new beginning for Burkina Faso," said Warren. "With everyone's help, we can continue what the race just started." When that happens, the real winners of The Amazing Race will be the children and families of Burkina Faso.
World in Need is a trademark of World in Need, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization. "The Amazing Race" is a registered trademark of Disney Enterprises, Inc., and/or CBS Broadcasting, Inc.
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