A new and respectful model of voluntourism co-produced with marginalised young people in Malawi
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Wood, E. (2018) A new and respectful model of voluntourism co-produced with marginalised young people in Malawi [seminar]. In: QMU's Public Sociologists Seminar, 26 October 2018, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (Unpublished).
Critical views of voluntourism* and white saviour complex are widespread, but marginalised voices are missing from the debate. QMU senior lecturer, Emma Wood and Gift Thompson, a resident of the STEKA children's home in Malawi, will talk about a co-produced project developed over two years - and piloted at STEKA in June 2018 (with a group of 20 visiting pupils from Gleniffer High School, Paisley) . It is designed to give power to the marginalised young people living at STEKA to direct how visits to their home should be. They are developing a new model of dignified voluntourism which counters accusations of poverty tourism, and white saviourism. The STEKA Dialogues aims to be a respectful two way approach, developed through dialogue between marginalised young people in Malawi and Scottish school pupils, to enable the Malawians to earn a sustainable income and the Scots to develop new and profound knowledge to share with wider audiences at home. Gleniffer's teachers will join the discussion to share their response to their pupils' participation in the STEKA Dialogue Groups and the impact this has had. *Voluntourism (where tourists travel to the Global South to 'help') is a growth area within the tourism sector (Wearing & Mcgehee 2013 Atkins & Thompson 2012, Conran 2011) and tourism-oriented Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are becoming increasingly relevant as an alternative and legitimate source of development aid for poverty reduction (Kennedy & Dornan 2009).