Rants of a very tired community worker

Blog Human Rights Living

Participation is vital to self-determination.

I’m tired of hearing words of wisdom from a handful of self-proclaimed ‘activists’ » where the preachers bark at every violation of human rights known to man. But these charlatans are known for their persuasive manners, their civilised behaviours, and the polished lifestyles.

At the end, its all about their participation in dialogues and international conferences. And what about the community that they represent? Surely the people are keen to participate in the halls of opportunities, and share their issues and concerns with the corporate-suit-loving funders and intellectual masters. Yes, but they are not allowed or gently discouraged by those charlatans. Participation seems like an opportunity only for the bourgeois-kissing activists, and indeed, it is localised to the veteran defenders of humanity.

In many issues, you’ll find the poor, truly unrepresented. Human rights at a ‘higher level’ » a nasty top-down approach, a swollen bureaucracy in need. Life nowadays is about systems, processes and dogma. Gone were the days when people help others for sheer humility. Nowadays, a handful do what they do for themselves… Or their $$ pockets.


An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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