Aid to Africa: Is it doing more harm than good? Spencer tabberer

Mission trips are defined as groups who travel to a new location to volunteer their efforts in completing a helpful community project. Most of us know someone who has been on a "mission trip" or have even been on one.
But not everyone has been challenged with the question of is it even worth it to go? Are you just going there to "feel better" about yourself? Why don't you just send a check? Are you doing more harm than good?
I chose this topic because I was faced with these types of questions before I went on a missions trip to Nicaragua. After being asked these types of questions, it really made me think, "Why don't I just give all the money that I'm paying to go to the organization who was rebuilding houses?" However, after coming back, I would not change my decision to go.
If one were to send a check to Africa, instead of doing a missions trip, there would be no guarantee as to who gets the money. The African government could take this money and use it to their own benefit, or use it as how they see fit. Many African leaders argue that without the help from the US, they would still need clean water and have food shortages.
Research Questions: How many different missions groups go and give aid? What type of aid do they administer? What type of people agree with giving aid vs who says that it does more harm than good?
Possible counter arguments: The motive for going on these trips is to implicate American privilege. People go on these trips and come back, changing their profile pictures, posting pictures, and statuses about their trip. Suggest that people only go to say that they did a good thing, "White Savior Complex."
So what? I hope that through this research I am able to share with people that despite all the negative attitudes around mission trips, they aren't doing more harm than good.

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