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Helpies: Selfies to Brag About Helping – JadedAid Card Stories

helpie - selfie to brag about helping

What do you call it when an American or European volunteer in Africa or Asia takes a picture of themselves with a child that is obviously poor, often showing the Westerner offering help children, or implying such help?

Helpie: a Selfie to Brag About Helping

Sadly, photographs of smiling Westerners holding photogenic children with flies and a distended belly are too common. In fact, someone got so frustrated with these photos showing up as Tinder profile pictures, they created the hilarious and cringe-worthy Humanitarians of Tinder.

Here at JadedAid, we’ve done our own part to make us all more self-conscious of our privilege. We coined the term “helpie: a selfie to brag about helping” in our Original Card Game and then we made sure that our definition won the Urban Dictionary definition of “helpie“.

Helpie is an Official USAID Term

We are very excited to report that “helpie” was even referenced in an official USAID proposal response! The cool kids at USAID DIV responded to our $1 million proposal for JadedAid funding with a great helpie quip of their own:

“The Expression of Interest submitted includes neither glossy, well-lit photos of smiling beneficiaries nor helpies with said beneficiaries. Small et. al 2007 has shown that well-lit photos and helpies generate more funding than text-based, and data-driven presentations of complex, global problems. Therefore, the inclusion of well-lit photos would better demonstrate your commitment and ability to address your theory of change and would strengthen your application.”

We can’t wait to see USAID or one of its implementing partners use a helpie in their annual report.

Next Up: Helpies in JadedAid T-Shirts

There is still one more goal for us to achieve and we need your help. Our dream is to see a beautiful orphanage voluntourism helpie with someone wearing a JadedAid T-shirt. Double bonus points if they make it their Tinder profile picture!  Help us out – spread the word (and the shirts)!

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