The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

GIN Workshop about Foreign Aid leads to Heated Debate


A student-led workshop on foreign aid at the annual Global Issues Network  Conference (GIN), held Tuesday, March 11th at the Geoge Washington University (GW), sparked some newly discovered opinions and heated debate, during the foreign aid workshop. The students who participated in the debate discussed whether foreign aid truly benefited the country receiving it or created more drawbacks for it.

Students from WIS, School Without Walls, Thurgood Marshall Academy, and more attended to hear keynotes and student-led presentations. One of the first workshops was on foreign aid, presented by the WIS sophomores; Imani Nkrumah Ardayfio, Inaya Zayman, and Ester Luna. During the workshop, the facillitators discussed the controversy surrounding foreign aid, and how the cons aren’t publicised as much as the pros.

What the workshop emphasized was that the cons can actually outweigh the pros in many situations. One of the highlights of the workshop was a debate where the students were divided in half and debated if foreign aid had positive or negative outcomes. A lot of good points were made and a lot of fresh perspectives were gained, like how many of the students didn’t realize the negative impact that foreign aid could have on a country.  

Freshman, Camila Cubeddu, who attended the conference for the first time, said “my first thought was I already know everything about this. But what I did not know is that there were disadvantages that come today with foreign aid.” Some of these disasvantanges include, the country in need not developing or using the money and resources being provided to them officially.

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The workshop led to a lot of change in opinions and knowledge gained from all the students who attended it. Each team got a chance to share different facts to support their arguments. Students against foreign aid argued that no country that has received or is receiving aid has ever developed from the money given to them, for example Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The team for foreign aid argued many countries would not be able to survive without the help of aid from more developed countries such as the US.

“Something that was really impactful was the debate that we did; because I was able to see different people’s perspectives on the issue and how foreign aid can be really helpful but also come with many uncertainties,” Cubeddu said.

Another interesting part of the workshop was the light that was shined on organizations that provide foreign aid such as the IMF and World Bank. All three of the presenters had parents who worked for either of those organizations and shared opinions directly impacted by their parent’s line of work.

Facilitator Imani Nkrumah Ardayfio, whose mom works at the World Bank disclosed that she has a more negative opinion and believes the negatives outweigh the positves. She said, “I would say that I’m very against it. Though I do understand that there are things that help. but I do think that a lot of it has gone to waste. The sustainability of that aid needs to be fixed.”

All three of the presenters’ views on the topic were greatly influenced by their parents. They all had differing opinions on whether foreign aid was a more positive or negative resource. Throughout the presentation, they incorporated their opinions into the different parts of the topic they were presenting.

“My family’s very political and this has been a topic that has been brought up several times,” said Imani Nkrumah Ardayfio.  

By: Rani Kumar

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