Assistance is called a way of providing assistance: help, collaboration or support. The concept is usually used in a general way regarding the obligation of governments to assist their citizens to satisfy basic needs when people cannot do it on their own.
Due to various economic and social issues, it is common for many individuals to be unable to pay for their essential expenses (related to housing, health, education, etc.). So the state has to assist them. This particularity establishes a dependency relationship that threatens individual dignity: the subject depends on the State, more precisely on the rulers who administer it, to survive.
In this way, assistentialism acquires a negative charge. People need the assistance of the government, which is inevitably strengthened by it. Welfare, in this framework, consists of providing resources to citizens to satisfy some of their needs, but without favoring their emancipation from state dependency. In other words: it may be convenient for the rulers to develop plans to help the poor so that they can pay them with their vote in the elections with the intention of continuing to obtain clothing and food. On the other hand, if they generated genuine jobs and social reintegration platforms that allowed the most deprived individuals to access vocational training and a living wage, they could meet their own needs.
In this quest to guarantee low-income citizens their right to lead a decent life, with access to the same basic services as the rest of the population, the government usually opens doors to some of the following: a home, to avoid that they continue in the streets; spaces where you can carry out your personal hygiene; personal hygiene items, such as shampoo, soap, and perfume; medical attention; community kitchens; laundry.
Taking up the negative effects that welfare can have on the development of the individuals who take advantage of it, some experts assure that the comfort provided by aid and the inevitable dependency that they develop towards it does nothing other than collaborate with the increase in poverty at the national level. Given the possibility of subsisting without being part of society normally, assuming a labor obligation and paying taxes, many people get used to their situation and do not make an effort to get ahead.
In the Dictionary, Ezequiel Ander Egg offers a definition of assistentialism in which he expresses that this form of help does not take into account the causes that generate the deficiency situations that he intends to solve. This explains with great conciseness one of the reasons for the aforementioned negative repercussions: if we do not attack the problem at the root, then it is highly likely that it will not go away.
The needy people are equal to the most favored, they have the same essence, they belong to the same species and that is why it is more constructive to expose them to all those resources with which they have not yet found themselves and to let them learn to use them to build themselves. better life. This does not mean denying them guidance, healthcare or decent housing until they can take off, but rather giving them the tools to feel a genuine desire to support themselves, just as sooner or later we decide to leave our parents to tour our road.
Beyond the state, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also often develop welfare to improve the quality of life of the most disadvantaged sectors or those affected by some type of catastrophe (for example, helping victims of a flood).