On a white sandy beach in a small fishing village called Kuruwitu in eastern Kenya a ground-breaking project that aimed to protect marine biodiversity and improve livelihoods was launched in 2005. Six years on what obstacles has it encountered and what lessons can be learned?
Everywhere in the world people care for and try to preserve the things they value.
What is considered valuable is relative to the socio-cultural context, and often things that are of great significance and deeply precious for some individuals and groups are not for others. There are things and places that are priceless because they refer to our identity and our sense of being and belonging.
Despite reports that the international tourism market has suffered during the downturn, one strand of tourism – the gap year and volunteer tourism market – seems to have flourished. This can partly be attributed to the increase in redundancies, which has prompted more people to take time out to reflect on what to do next and to gain a new perspective on life. Shortage of graduate jobs has also encouraged undergraduates to escape the gloomy outlook at home to gain valuable work experience to give their CVs a winning edge for when they return. This influx of volunteers to the South, armed with the desire to contribute time, money and skills to a poorer society is surely a good thing. Or is it?