Global Times US Edition - - INDE -

Be­sides, Wang is also fac­ing mis­trust from African peo­ple and com­pe­ti­tion from some Western NGOs.

“Western NGOs have been ac­tive in Africa for decades, while we are new­com­ers. Some of them think we are there to un­der­cut their work,” said Wang.

Once, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties told Wang that a Western NGO had ac­cused them of smug­gling ele­phants to China in the name of pro­tect­ing wildlife. That NGO even pro­vided au­thor­i­ties a photo of Wang’s plane. “The ironic thing is that the plane in their photo is too small for an ele­phant,” he said.

Wang’s team also has to over­come the mis­trust of lo­cals. Some of them told Wang di­rectly that they thought his NGO won’t stay there for a long time and was there just for “im­age pro­mo­tion.” Com­pared with Western NGOs, lo­cal peo­ple’s recog­ni­tion of Chi­nese NGOs is gen­er­ally low, ac­cord­ing to Wang.

This, he said, is due to a lack of un­der­stand­ing. The West had col­o­nized Africa long ago and the lo­cals are im­mersed in Western cul­ture. “While many don’t like the West, they still con­sider the West to be su­pe­rior. In com­par­i­son, they have limited knowl­edge of China. So they hold a pru­dent at­ti­tude to­wards us,” he said.

Cor­rect at­ti­tude

Wei Jian­gang, founder of the Bei­jing Gen­der Health Ed­u­ca­tion In­sti­tute, a Chi­nese NGO ded­i­cated to im­prov­ing pub­lic aware­ness about LGBT peo­ple, is pro­mot­ing its “Queer Univer­sity” project in an African coun­try. Queer Univer­sity aims to em­power LGBT groups by teach­ing them how to pro­duce doc­u­men­taries to make their voices heard. Be­sides ba­sic train­ings, the project also of­fers at­ten­dees a year’s fund­ing and in­struc­tion to com­plete their vis­ual works.

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