Hi, good or bad?
what do you think
I think it's great that people can visit Kibera and not feel threatened by the place. Soweto was opened up in the same way, and some people had the same doubts, and it's now a much more prosperous part of Johannesburg. One thing I do have an issue with is any company claiming to offer "pro-poor" or "not-for-profit" visits to Kibera that isn't completely transparent in the way it handles the money and the opportunities it gives its clients to make donations (where does the money go?). It's all too easy for such arrangements to become another little opportunity for exploitation. But I think bringing tourists in for a few hours to just get a feel for the place and do some business – buy some crafts, stop for a drink or a meal – why not?
I agree with Richard - if the money reallly does help the locals then I'm all for it that is as long as tourist don't just come and gawp.
I was lucky enough to visit Mathare Valley 30 years ago and the sights and smells still stay with me till this day.
Maybe it should be made compulsory for all tourists to stop off at Kibera, Mathare or Dandora on the way back from their sanitised beach hotels.
It would make people realise just how lucky we are no matter how much we moan about our lot.
Great idea and will definitely go next time i'm in Nairobi.
If it only serves to make you think about the fortunate lifestyles we all lead and to be grateful of them without moaning how hard done to we are .
The main thing i take back from my trips are wonderful memories tinged with sadness but above all i return thinking how bloody lucky i am !!!
Shocking !!!! absoloutly shocking and one I would never ever tell anyone I was taken there for a "Tour"
as for giving back some of the profit/ ye gods ! this man should never ever make ANY profit on these poor souls misery ! A donation was given to the childrens home oh how I laughed . .money in their pockets !!!
One highlight of this report? the man`s name who said it stank was a cracker. Martin Oduor !!!!!!
"Critics say that unlike township tours in South Africa, which help tell the story of the apartheid struggle, Kibera's sole attraction is its open-sewer poverty – with residents on parade like animals in a zoo."
I'm with the critics on this one. Many of the inhabitants of Kibera come from beautiful, lush, fertile lands in Western Kenya which remain untilled and unused. For people such as these, who have *chosen* not to make a living from what God (or whatever other entity you happen to believe in) has provided, I find it very hard to have any sympathy at all. Whilst there are many truly "poor souls" living in Kibera, and Mathare, and the other slums hereabouts, sending tourists in to have their heartstrings plucked at and their wallets opened only encourages the "Give Me" mentality that is so widespread thanks to the many NGOs and aid agencies that have perpetuated this mindset. I've met some wonderful people working in Kibera, who help the inhabitants (the ones who want to, that is) get on their feet by using their skills and some effort, and not just sticking their hands out. I suspect this thread will now become long, interesting and quite heated!
FL Well it might get even more interesting but let's avoid it getting heated.
I take it then you're proposing there should be legal limits on where tour operators run their trips?
And are you saying that legitimate charities have no place in Kenya? Even when there is no welfare state and an economy that cannot supportall those who depend on it? And are you saying that having poeple in Kibera selling crafts or cups of tea, or a plate of local food to tourists is wrong?
You seem to be suggesting that people are voluntarily leaving their farms to come and live in Kibera? But you must know that's not the case, and landlessness is a critical problem in Kenya. I think you'll find most of Kibera's inhabitants were either born there, or found a place to live there having come to Nairobi in a desperate search for work *because they have no land* – lush, fertile or otherwise.
Whilst I bow to your local knowledge I find it cynical at best and heartless at worst if I undertand correctly what you are saying- i.e that by NGO's and Aid Agencies stopping aid the 'Gimme' culture would stop and people would have to work for a living.
Very noble but impossible and niaive.
"You seem to be suggesting that people are voluntarily leaving their farms to come and live in Kibera? But you must know that's not the case,"
Whether you believe it or not, it *is* the case and no, the truth isn't very pleasant. I've seen it with my own eyes, having travelled up to Western Kenya, and then into Kibera, with a well-known aid organisation (one which believes in getting people on their feet through the "teach a man to fish" method).
And yes, I do think "tour operators" should be limited on where they take clients.
That's just my view, I don't expect you (and others) to agree with me. If we all agreed, the world would be a very boring place indeed.
Westwoodboy - suggest you read "Dead Aid" by Dambisa Moyo (a female Black African), which explains why the NGOs and Aid Agencies (and UN donors etc) should do *exactly* that. We need commerce, not charity. Why do think, after 50 years, and 1 trillion dollars in aid, not a thing has changed?
By the way - I'm neither heartless nor cynical and I absolutely *do* help where it's needed. But again, along the "teach a man to fish" guidelines, not by "give give give".