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It just doesn't read right, look right or feel right. Linking a holiday in one of Kenya's top resorts with doing voluntary work with '˜kids in need' locally while teaching them hygiene, tree planting, tailoring and construction, is clearly questionable on so, so many levels.
Do we really believe that Kenyans are devoid of such skills and that Maltese or European tourists have them in abundance? The suspension of all our critical faculties would be necessary to believe that Kenyan '˜kids in need' require lessons in hygiene and tree planting '“ '˜no expertise needed, just a willingness to teach'.
How insulting and arrogant does it get? It smacks of the worst of the western '˜white saviour complex', something that remains central to the problem rather than the solution. Yet, this is what's on offer to Maltese tourists as discussed by Philip Leone Ganado.
It is so easy to criticise '˜voluntourism' (now a multi-million dollar industry) '“ addressing issues of need, inequality, poverty and exclusion as an '˜added value' element in tourism (no matter how well intentioned or motivated) is simply not credible.
It frequently does damage, normally ignores local voices, is largely designed to...

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