• When Helping Hurts

  • How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself
  • By: Steve Corbett, Brian Fikkert
  • Narrated by: Brendan Hunter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (89 ratings)

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When Helping Hurts

By: Steve Corbett,Brian Fikkert
Narrated by: Brendan Hunter
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Publisher's Summary

With more than 450,000 copies in print, When Helping Hurts is a paradigm-forming contemporary classic on the subject of poverty alleviation.

Poverty is much more than simply a lack of material resources, and it takes much more than donations and handouts to solve it. When Helping Hurts shows how some alleviation efforts, failing to consider the complexities of poverty, have actually (and unintentionally) done more harm than good. But it looks ahead. It encourages us to see the dignity in everyone, to empower the materially poor, and to know that we are all uniquely needy - and that God in the gospel is reconciling all things to himself. 

Focusing on both North American and Majority World contexts, When Helping Hurts provides proven strategies for effective poverty alleviation, catalyzing the idea that sustainable change comes not from the outside in, but from the inside out.

©2012 Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert (P)2021 Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert

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A must read

For anyone working in poverty alleviation, missions, NGOs , this is required reading. Incredible depth provided by real life experience.

1 person found this helpful

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Give more, but to ministries helping long-term.

This book is obviously teaching us how and why we must be wiser in our efforts to help those in poverty. But let me save you some time, money, and effort: the simple solution is to give whatever you can, of your heart, money, time, knowledge, and efforts, to ministries that are using proven methods that can be expected to have sustained results.

The book is helpful if you want to build your expertise in this, but I found the book to be intimidating to the average church-goer (if I fall into that category). I owned the book for years and only now made it past the first chapter, and that only because I found myself in contact with a desperate person in the midst of a "majority world" famine.

It is a well-written and useful book, but I think its very existence creates a problem without providing a solution. For me, the title is putting to words a feeling so many of us have had, then increasing the burden. Allow me put the burden to words: "your giving is probably making things worse, and now you must become an expert in establishing ministries and relationships that you have no experience with or access to." Does anybody else see that? That's why I tried to distill the contents of this book for anyone who isn't sure they would benefit from reading it: just focus on ministries that are providing help that lasts.

And give more. The authors said it a few times, but somehow churchgoers aren't getting the message. We are not our own.

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Great questions, good answers, so-so narrator

Content is fantastic for challenging the entrenched top-down and materialistic philanthropy of most poverty-alleviation efforts, especially those directed by Westerners. The authors make an effort to provide practical solutions, to be constructive, not merely deconstructive. I am the director of a Christian international water science nonprofit and have spent 3 decades in ministry of diverse sorts. I heartily recommend this book.
The narrator inflected at odd points in sentences and was unfamiliar with Biblical names based on his novel pronunciations.

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Powerful

I never looked at giving from this point of view. This is a powerful book! Read it, listen to it and change your mindset!

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Good message

I agree with the message but I’m not impressed with the storytelling. The books a lot of cut offs and jumps and does not have vey smooth transitions from one topic or piece of evidence to another. The message is important though, so I recommend a read.

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A Must Read

This book is very enlightening for anyone of faith who is contributing to any ministry!

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Couldn’t get past the first chapter

Very Jesus heavy. This could have been written without including religion and it might have been good.

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  • Kiki Clapham
  • 09-01-21

There should be a warning that this book is very religious

As an agnostic even the preface was a painful listen and I had to return the book. The description should be amended to reflect the fact that it’s very Christian faith centred with constant references to Jesus. Whilst I respect that some people will be fine with this, for those of us who do not belong to a specific faith, the rhetoric is unbearable. Pity, as the general subject does interest me.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-03-23

Good practical wisdom

take it to your team or church before considering ministry outreach.
not because you may not be good hearted or wise, but worth getting through the biblical ,social and economic wisdom before embarking.

has recentred my eyes and heart on many approaches to ministry that I do and lead and hope to in the future.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-03-21

Heavy-voiced narrator

Don’t like authoritarian narrator voice with unnatural (for me) stress. Book content ok, but I much prefer We Are Not The Hero on this topic.