“The Samaritans” is a new TV-Show from Kenya. A must see for everyone with an international development-background and good entertainment for anyone with a spark of “black” humour. The inventor is Hussein Kurji, a Kenyan who never worked for an NGO himself but has enough friends who did and could support him with plenty of material for the satire.
NGO´s have to fight more and more with critical voices who are against them. This is necessary because often they don´t communicate enough with each other nor the people they work for. Sometimes the projects themselves seem like a joke. One project in Namibia was implemented to fight the poaching of rhinoceroses where at the same time you could win a trip to a Rhinoceros-hunt (according to Süddeutsche).
But instead of just blaming the NGO´s for their sometimes useless work Hussein Kurji used the bizarre stories and made a TV-show out of it. He doesn´t fail to perpetuate all the clichés. In the centre of the series you find a fictional NGO “aid for aid” which really does nothing and therefore achieves nothing. With empty but complicated sounding catchphrases they create drafts without meaning.
Already in the pilot episode the new boss Scott (played by Liam Acton who used to work for an NGO himself) affirms all prejudices. Although he has a master degree in international development and has worked for his mother´s NGO since he was 6 years old he never was in Kenya before and his only experience with “Africa” roots in a 6-week internship in Casablanca. But that´s ok because at least he, the white Samaritan, is there to help the poor people of Kenya to bring light into a dark continent that usually just suffers from misery.
Unfortunately there are only 2 episodes so far because the production is struggling with the finances. You can rent both episodes for 5$ on their website www.aidforaid.org. The money goes straight back into the funding of the TV-show which is also supported by a real NGO. The aim of “the Samaritans” is not to make NGO´s sound bad in general. The aim is to entertain people and make them aware about some of the absurd things going on out there. Check the facebook-page of the production company Xeinium! Here you can find a lot of information about successful development work and many interesting links about the subject.