Influencer Called Out For ‘Troubling’ Images With Kenyan Children
An influencer is facing criticism over a ‘troubling’ photo he posted on his Instagram following a trip to Kenya.
Spanish model Daniel Illesca’s Instagram feed is filled with pictures from his volunteer trips to the African country, but it’s his most recent post that has raised concerns.
In a since-deleted post, Illescas uploaded a picture of himself lying topless on top of a Kenyan girl, who is also topless. He captioned the picture, ‘I missed you my little princess #Effi.’
The post also included a hashtag for his new book Be Part Of It, which documents his volunteering trips that he says ‘changed his life’. In the synopsis, Illescas talks about how the children stole his heart on his first voyage in 2018 and how he is now trying to improve their lives by mobilising his 1 million-strong following.
However, an advocacy group in Uganda that is trying to put an end to white volunteerism in Africa has criticised the post, which they say is a blatant example of ‘white saviourism’ and a ‘dangerous power dynamic’.
No White Saviors expressed concerns for the well-being of the children being photographed with Illescas, telling the Daily Dot:
White people coming here in the name of ‘doing good’ are rarely questioned or monitored, which is what makes people like Daniel an even bigger threat here than he would be at home.
We can’t know for sure the nature of his relationship with the children in Kenya but we do know that we have real concerns. We have seen too many foreign men come into our countries and take advantage of the power they hold in disgusting ways.
The organisation said it wants Illescas to be investigated over the photograph and others like it.
He has a history of sharing very troubling images like this with this same girl in Kenya.
The group went on to share other posts from the influencer they believe to be problematic, highlighting the fact he’s mostly kissing, holding and exchanging gifts with the same girl, who looks around the age of 10.
No White Saviors’ website discusses foreign nationals coming into black and brown communities in the name of charity or missionary work, however it details seeing some very different events taking place.
We are not saying that we do not want visitors or that we do not welcome partnerships. We are saying that the dynamics need to change.
We often hear foreign nationals speak of how “corrupt” Ugandan run projects are and that donors should ‘not trust the locals’, but what exactly is it called when a foreigner pays themselves up to 900% more than their Ugandan staff? When they can go on holiday to Zanzibar, eat at the nicest of cafes, drive expensive land rovers and live in large, beautiful homes along Lake Victoria?
It’s no surprise there are huge concerns over the relationship between western ‘white saviours’ and African children following cases such as that of Richard Huckle, who was dubbed Britain’s most prolific paedophile.
Huckle assaulted children in Malaysia and Cambodia by posing as a Christian and targeting care homes and orphanages, pretending to teach English and photography. He then wrote a blog bragging about his crimes and awarding himself ‘PedoPoints’ for the assaults.
The offender is said to have filmed himself raping up to 200 children and babies, amassing a staggering 20,000 images of child abuse before selling them for profit at the age of just 19. He shared the images online with paedophiles worldwide through a hidden website on the dark web.
It’s no doubt cases like these, coupled with the self-serving prophecy of white saviourism, are a huge concern for organisations trying to protect the most vulnerable members of their society.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child, contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000. If you are a child seeking advice and support, call Childline for free on 0800 1111.
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