UK charity organizes ‘pity tour’ to give the British an experience of Africa’s poverty

Organised by the Compassion Experience UK, a charitable organisation with a focus on child development and advocacy,  the tour will provide
sights, sounds and smells of a developing country and include true stories of selected children from selected countries.

Between April to July 2019, a 70-foot mobile trailer will tour selected towns in the UK to help the “more privileged society and its people” have a literal feel of what it is like to live in poverty or under the poverty line in developing countries.

Although said to be a tour centred around developing countries, the tour conspicuously focuses on African countries highlighting life in Ethiopia and Uganda.

Family in Sameson 2
Photo: The Experience Compassion UK

According to an article by Birmingham Updates, the tour gives visitors an insight into what life is like for some of the most vulnerable children in the world using interactive, tactile, audio and visual stories of Sameson, a boy from Ethiopia, and Shamim, a girl from Uganda.

The free and family-friendly event is opened to both adults and children but primarily aimed at showing children in the UK an immersive poverty experience without the need to travel. Speaking on the project, Justin Dowds, CEO of Compassion UK explained that The Compassion Experience aims at ‘bringing the developing world to our doorsteps’.

Through the ‘experience’, the organisation which has been in existence for 60 years hopes to raise funds to run projects in the many developing countries they work in.

An example image

The announcement of the project has since April 17 caused a stir on social media. Following negative comments about the tour, Compassion Experience UK has since released a How the Compassion Experience challenges stereotypes about poverty statement defending their project and explaining that the media might have interpreted wrongly.

However, several people are still against the project describing it as insulting and discriminatory. Here are some views shared on social media.

Last Edited by:Victor Ativie Updated: April 25, 2020


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