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Why am I in Development? (Judith)

March 18, 2010

I could tell you now how having grown up in different corners of the world has made me aware – and outraged – about the injustices you can encounter simply everywhere. It is true, but at the same time, anyone, anywhere, who cares to take a second look and question why things are the way they are, will come across inequalities… and yes, injustice.

Where did my spade go?

I do not like ideologies. Communism can be appealing… in theory. Cosmopolitanism is an intriguing concept, especially for someone who feels affiliated to many countries, or maybe none at all, but rather to the people that you meet along the way. I simply believe in life and that it is worth protecting. Human beings are selfish – it must be some kind of survival instinct built-in by nature – but that must not necessarily be a bad thing. And being selfish does not mean, we cannot also see the beauty in every (human) life, and thus believe that all life is equally worth protecting. But when protecting becomes patronising, then something crucial has been misunderstood.

Doing development is not synonymous with doing ‘good’. Either way, the development industry does exist and is likely to continue to exist. Mistakes have been made and will continue to be made, but lessons can be learned. And that is why I study development. To start learning those lessons. Whether that means I am – or will be – in development… I’m not sure. But I will always care. And to care is rarely passive.


Judith Magdalena (MSc Development Management)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. jnabongo permalink
    March 18, 2010 9:13 am

    great post.

  2. Judith permalink
    March 18, 2010 1:32 pm

    Thank you, Jessica. 🙂
    Re-reading my post, I realised it sounds like I consider myself to be cosmopolitan. I don’t really label myself as such, I just feel more connection to people as opposed to places…

  3. Stef permalink
    March 22, 2010 6:07 pm

    I really like your post Judith, I can totally relate 🙂
    Although quite depressing sometimes, this program has allowed us to understand what hasn’t worked in development and why, and that’s what we need to have the slightest hope of changing things. We must keep the enthusiasm and positivism we arrived here with, together with the awareness and sensibility we have gained (and must continue to build on) it might be all the more valuable!

  4. Mat permalink
    November 1, 2010 2:19 am

    🙂 After sitting in an interview with the Author from “Blutsbrueder”, together with the co-author who is a civil war survivor, it wasn’t difficult to see the appreciation in the man for the existence of development aid regardless of any negativity that might come along with it. Truly refreshing post.

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