What Does Responsible International Volunteering Look Like? Women’s Emancipation and Development Agency (WOMEDA) Executive Director Juma Massisi (seated, center) facilitates conversation among women and Amizade students in Kayanga, Tanzania, as part of research that supported a successful United States Agency for International Development grant award for WOMEDA.
Record numbers of students are choosing to study, travel, and serve abroad through Gap Year organizations, alternative break programs, and tour agencies. Voluntourism, volunteering and traveling a foreign country at the same time, has become a popular rite of passage for high school and college-aged students. As a former study abroad participant and international volunteer, I can vouch for the personal, professional, and academic benefits of these intercultural immersion and exchange programs. These programs supplement classroom lessons through experiential learning opportunities and build student global awareness. Examining Motivations & Costs Why Orphan Based Tourism is Damaging Like this: Volunteering_Overseas_Get_Yourself_a_Life_Changing_Adventure. The Truth About Doing Good. A plethora of recently published articles have panned “voluntourism” as little more than salve for bleeding-heart rich folks (here’s one example, and another).
The problem is, it’s rarely that simple. Most volunteers want to do good, but whether or not “good” results from their efforts is up for debate. In fact, the scale can be tipped by so many factors that committing to a trip can feel like a shot in the dark. No matter the intention of the traveler, the tour organizer, or the people on the other end, the intersection of one human being with another always has an effect. Our cultures, experiences, and personalities — good, bad, and ugly — bump up against each other in the coffee shop and on the playground when we’re at home, and the same is true when we travel. I’ve found that the farther you are from home (and the shared point of view that comes with it), the less certain you can be of what effect you’ll have.
Recently I was in Kenya on assignment with Free the Children. Brian Rockliffe: Time for the Spotlight to Shine on Young Volunteers Who Are Helping, Not Hindering Developing Countries. Is volunteering becoming something we do to people rather than for people?
It was this question that brought the extensively debated topic of 'voluntourism' back into our consciousness recently. The familiar stereotype of privileged gap-year students visiting poor countries to give something back to communities in need is something development commentators are, quite rightly, critical of. Volunteering itself isn't a bad thing, but as with most things there are good and bad examples of it.
Examples of how young people can make a positive contribution to tackling poverty, which could guide them to choose the right opportunity to generate the right impact, are often overlooked. Young people can make a sound, practical difference in some of the poorest countries in the world, but it has to be organised properly. Voluntourism: Traveling to make a difference. Traveling to Make A Difference: How you can find voluntourism or meaningful global work opportunities The term voluntourism has sprung up in the past few years to explain the increasing number of people seeking vacations with volunteering components.
For students, this has been especially appealing in order to fit travel and work together within the confines of Reading Week, winter or summer break. NUTS - Nottingham University Television Station. Does Voluntourism Do More Harm Than Good? Voluntourism discussions again!
Writes Gopi Parayil Dorinda Elliot from Conde nast Traveler reports after her volunteering trip to Haiti that: "A growing number of travelers are volunteering on their vacations, but they sometimes end up doing more harm than good. " After dabbling a little bit in this 'volunteering' business, here is our take away. Look for solutions locallyBuild up strengths of local community.Promote 'local' volunteering enabling 'compassionate destinations'.Facilitate that instead of 'going to save people' in another exotic destination.Look in your own backyard and see if your volunteering can make a difference there before flying out.None of this is a utopian idea.
The world has changed a lot, and there are loads of resources available locally that can be channeled effectively. So what do I mean by these 'local solutions'? These clinics have catered to more than 45,000 terminally ill patients. Volunteer's Charter. The Balanced Approach to Volunteering Overseas. The Seven Sins of International Volunteerism The Curse of the Overly Altruistic Volunteer.
Five Expectations to Avoid Before Volunteering Abroad. Top 5 Volunteer Abroad Crowdfunding Myths Dispelled. Volunteering in Zimbabwe on the International Citizenship Service. HIV/AIDS education class with Jombe School With International Development starting next term we spoke to Aidan Bruynseels, a first year Msc in Management student and Student Volunteer Ambassador for the Volunteer Centre @ LSE Careers about his recent overseas volunteering trip.
During the summer of 2012 he completed a three-month volunteering internship with Progressio, an UK register charity, on the International Citizen Service program in Zimbabwe. We caught up with him to ask why he wanted to volunteer abroad, what the aims of the programme were that he was working on and how he found the experience. The organization and the programOften the most fulfilling experiences are the ones, which you stumble upon after searching for something else.
Responsible Volunteering – Be a Child Safe Volunteer. Be the kind of volunteer an NGO wants. Volunteering overseas - Finding an Opportunity - LSE Volunteer Centre - Careers and vacancies - Staff and students. Volunteering overseas can be a life changing experience for many people.
It can be a chance for you to share your skills, passion and energy in a new and exciting culture. You can have an opportunity to see a new part of the world or make new friends whilst giving back to the community in which you are travelling.