You’re eating and drinking like royalty in Bali, dressed in your designer togs. Two scruffy children come up to you with an outstretched hand. One is pointing to his mouth indicating he needs to eat. It’s so little to you and would mean so much to them, right? Wrong.
The children haven’t thought this up by themselves. They are “working” for an adult gang who send them out. Why? Because children are normally more successful at getting money from tourists than adults. Any chance at going to school, learning skills to become employable are quashed. They will be beggers then perhaps graduate to thievery for their life’s work. By giving money you are teaching them that begging is the road to success.
What can you do? By coming to vacation in a third world country you have already contributed to the economy. By staying at a hotel or a villa you are helping
a company that employs local people, teaches skills in a positive way . By eating in local restaurants, buying local handicrafts from their makers you are showing respect for the culture and helping the economy.
Want to do more? Check out some of the charitable organizations that have pinpointed the needs of the community. Make a contribution there. Does handing out money willy-nilly make you feel like you’ve done a good deed. It shouldn’t. Show respect for the culture of the place you are visiting and think through the long term effects of your actions. People don’t want or need pity, they need jobs and an appreciation of their skills.