Thursday, August 21, 2008

Voluntourism and People to People Diplomacy in Kibera

This CNN story follows some Hollywood celebrities visiting Kibera, volunteering and using their star-power to raise awareness and support for some projects on the ground. Sounds like a very good idea. However, it is very hard if not impossible to get access to the funds they raise, and the direct impact of such celebrities on the ground is sometimes invisible or harmful. The Red Rose School gets some food support from the World Food Program for instance, but we have never been able to trace a single project in Kibera that is supported by funds from American Idol's "Idol Gives Back" charity events. Such high profile campaigns leave the people in the community feeling betrayed and used when there is no real help that follows all the hype and hope brought by visitors. What do you think? Please leave a comment below.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sierra Club and Green Belt Movement Members Visit Red Rose

This summer we hosted Sierra Club and Green Belt Movement members from the USA led by Mr. Matt Finch, uncle to Potomac School alum Chris Coe. Chris visited Kenya for community service in June 2007 with his former teacher Ken Okoth, and urged his uncle to suppor tand visit the school too. Indeed, Mr. Finch made sure that he and his group of 18 travellers visiting Kenya to learn about environmental sustainability put aside some time in their hectic schedule to visit Red Rose and spend some time with the teachers and students there. They shared songs and dances with the children and gave the school a lot of classroom supplies they had brought with them.  The children and teachers at Red Rose are very grateful for the gifts and were happy to make some more new friends.