Before you pay to volunteer abroad, think of the harm you might do

If you haven’t seen this article it’s time to read it and I’d love to hear companies explain how they ensure their orphanage projects are in fact responsible (and your in country coordinator telling you they are does NOT count).

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/nov/14/orphans-cambodia-aids-holidays-madonna

 

One thought on “Before you pay to volunteer abroad, think of the harm you might do

  1. If you are thinking of volunteering overseas, there is no excuse these days for not carrying out research on volunteer companies before you make your final choice.

    If you have a genuine motivation to help in a constructive, positive way, join a volunteer company that is based in the country you wish to volunteer in, and one that works in partnership with a limited number of projects on their web site. If you apply through a large western based company offering placements with ‘hundreds of projects around the world’, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to work out how much of a relationship that company really has with each of those projects, and how the majority of your fee will stay in the UK/USA to cover expensive overheads there.

    I would also recommend asking for contact details of ex-volunteers, and avoid companies that encourage you to drop in and volunteer at children’s homes for a week or two.

    The majority of international volunteers I have met do not fit into the media’s favoured stereotype, and are genuinely committed to helping without regard for the personal benefits they gain from the experience.

    If you are genuine about helping in a responsible way and find one of the many companies that matches that ethos, then you will not regret your decision to volunteer overseas.

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