Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only T&Cs apply

Find out more

What are our motives to help others?

What are our motives to help others?
Why helping others? Why should we bother about people in Africa? Why should we bother about people in Asia? Why should we bother about people killing each other in the Middle East? Why? People have different motives. Some people think it might be a religious motive. Some people think it’s promoting ideas. For example, some organisations - from here, from the UK - came to the scene in Pakistan and they start helping people who are visible - for example on the motorway between one city and the others. And this is for many reasons. Number
one: because they are after visibility - they want to show.
Number two: because it is easy to reach. While really the most needy people are not in this place. And all the aid provided in this area ended up in the market for sale. Why? Because they get over-supplied. They pretend to be disaster affected people and later on this become a market. While 5, 10, 15km away from this motorway - highway villages completely unreached by anyone. And they are suffering. They are eating the leaves of the trees. There are so many other examples where the government is really trying to gain benefits; to win the heart and mind of the affected population in order to win their vote in the next election. Sometimes some political parties they do the same.
The big question that we always ask ourselves – can we operate without humanitarian principles and values? Ok… If you do, you are more likely to cause harm than good.

There are a number of ways in which we can help others.

By ‘helping’, we usually mean to make it easier or possible for someone to do something by offering services or resources. In our context, it usually means doing so for free, or at least at minimal cost (not for profit). We can:

  • Give time and support
  • Take action (volunteer, make or donate useful items, actively raise money, campaign for a cause)
  • Give money

Your Task

Can you think of a time you helped others? What were your reasons for helping and what were the results?
Reflect on another situation (humanitarian response) and try to explore/list the range of motives as perceived by yourself, other responders and the people in need.
This article is from the free online

Humanitarian Action, Response and Relief

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now