Poverty tourism is only the most recent form of the evolution of the particular fascination (stand well back, but let us peer at you, curiously) that the upper classes have with the lower. The current mutation of poverty tourism includes a well meaning, upper/middle class, first world people, who are for whatever reason turned onto going to Africa (and it’s always Africa, isn’t it) to learn about how the starving children that show up on their TVs and their destitute parents live.
From Kennedy Odede, a Kenyan university student:
“Slum tourism has its advocates, who say it promotes social awareness. And it’s good money, which helps the local economy.
But it’s not worth it. Slum tourism turns poverty into entertainment, something that can be momentarily experienced and then escaped from. People think they’ve really “seen” something — and then go back to their lives and leave me, my family and my community right where we were before”