American teens' charity campaign to save the "industrial wasteland" of Glasgow did not go down well in Scotland 5 years ago

American teens' charity campaign to save the "industrial wasteland" of Glasgow did not go down well in Scotland

Poor old Glasgow.

All this time we've been sat here thinking the Scottish city was renowned for its plentiful, iconic live music venues, vibrant art scene and legendary footballing rivalry.


But in fact, it's no more than an "industrial wasteland".

At least, that's how two well-meaning but cringe-worthily misguided American teenagers have summarised Glasgow, or "Glass-cow", as they prefer to call it.

Aina Rivas, 19, and her 17-year-old brother Ferran Rivas are members of Christian group Hope Worldwide, and the two had set up a GoFundMe page to finance their trip to Glasgow.

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The duo began their campaign video proclaiming that: "As long as we can remember we have been serving our community", and then informed viewers that Glasgow will be the next destination on their noble journey.

They wanted to "turn the situation around for Glasgow" by helping restore the city's "industrial wastelands", and referenced the 'Glasgow Effect' - a term given to the unexplained poor health and low life expectancy of residents of Glasgow compared to the rest of the United Kingdom and Europe - in the emotional plea for donations.


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There's no denying that Glasgow, like many other UK cities, is not without its fair share of social problems. But the overly sympathetic tone of the video did not go down too well with Glaswegians, who reckon international aid projects are better directed elsewhere.

A tirade of abuse quickly prompted the activists to take down their crowdfunding page, but someone re-uploaded the video to YouTube.

One commenter said:


"Do you realise how OFFENSIVE and PATRONISING this is???? I am an ex-American and took British citizenship years ago. Glasgow is one of the FRIENDLIEST cities you can hope to live in! Every area has its downtrodden bits and no go zones. But Glasgow is beautiful, vibrant, innovative, home to one of the top 50 universities in the entire world. Home to many world famous bands, actresses and actors and inventors. Remember, charity begins at home, and there are many children and families struggling in the States. Glasgow is strong and proud and are a leading British city in our care for those needing help."

A few took issue with the inventive pronunciation of Glasgow: "Glass cow geez peace wee man."

"Where exactly in GLAZ-GO are you going to be helping to re-build/renovate? I know parts of Glasgow - sorry - Glaz-go, are a total shitehole, but glasgow housing association are doing a lot of re-building, loads of high rise flats are being pulled down and the land being re-built upon. Im curious to know if this is a sheer piss take; or if this is genuine, have these folk even contacted the various housing associations? I think this is quite embarrassing, and i get if they are serious they have good intentions, but im sure our culture of pride will hefty be offended by this."



And the social media backlash didn't stop there either.


When a Glasgow City Council spokesman was asked what he made of the appeal, he said: "If they make it to Glasgow they'll find a city that looks very different to the one shown in their video."

Are you from Glasgow? If so, what do you make of this campaign? Email us: [email protected], or message us on Facebook.