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Craig Kielburger: my getaway Add to ...

Lamu Island, Kenya

I spend 300 days a year travelling and I've never encountered a place so peaceful, so traditional and so untouched. That sounds almost ironic because it's close to Somalia, which is associated with war and violence.

Lamu is a UNESCO World Heritage site and most of the homes there are made out of pressed coral they dig from the reefs. There are more donkeys than people. It's an Islamic island and it used to be used in the Arab slave trade. Mick Jagger hung out there at one point and the Princess of Monaco had a home there. It's where you go when you really want to get away from it all. … There are no cinemas and not a lot of shopping. When you run along the beach, you see no one. There's beautiful warm water for swimming and fishing. … But it won't be as beautiful for long: They're building the largest deep-sea port in east Africa there. Lamu will quite literally disappear because you'll have huge tanker ships coming in and they're dredging out part of the port. People who want to visit this place have about five or six years left. It'll never been the same again.

Craig Kielburger is founder of Free the Children. Saturday is National Child Day in Canada. It marks the 21st anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

As told to Sarah Boesveld

Special to The Globe and Mail

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