An article came out in the CS Monitor recently that was brought to my attention by the awesome folks at EthicalTraveler.org. In the article the author says, “Mother Teresa faced criticism over the years from those who said the work did little to address the root causes of grinding poverty” and then links this to voluntourism and the debates that rage about whether or not we are doing good.
Another part of the article said, “Mother Teresa’s program was a precursor to VolunTourism,” says David Clemmons, founder of voluntourism.org, by e-mail. “There was no grand, long-term commitment. The program was crafted to allow for movement and flow of volunteers. And if individuals wished to volunteer for a day or two and then go sightseeing elsewhere in Calcutta … they were free to do so. In this way, Mother Teresa was ahead of her time.”
Is having volunteers volunteer for a day or two and then go sight see as Mr. Clemmons suggests really helping anyone but travelers feel better about themselves? Is it OK to NOT have a ‘grand, long-term commitment’???
Do you think this is all a little far fetched and reaching or does it have some realism in it???