Why You Shouldn’t Participate in Voluntourism

Interesting article came out by Richard Stupart of Matador

“NOBODY DECIDES to travel halfway around the world to spend weeks or months of their life undermining a local community. But voluntourism – like that famous quote about the paving on the road to hell – often comes close. The debate about the practice, like most things in life, is far more ethically nuanced than many organisations facilitating such experiences often let on.

Voluntourism has gained an appeal amongst travelers with a wide range of motivations, time and skills. From volunteers in organised groups such as the Kiva Fellows to handfuls of backpackers stopping off for a week in Siem Reap. The appeal of wanting to get involved in ‘making things better’ for local groups, orphanages, schools or other projects is the glue that holds many different strains of voluntourism together. And the ground on which fierce debates have raged for a few years already on whether particular flavours of voluntourism are helpful, ethically bankrupt, or simply benign.”

Read the full article here, what do you think?

4 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Participate in Voluntourism

  1. Really provocative but I think it’s good for a lot of young people who think of orphanages first and building projects to ask themselves these questions.

  2. I dont agree with the whole orphange thing. I have been volunteering with a group in Kenya for the past three summers and we have a very stong relationship with an orphange there. We have known the lady well before she even started the orphanage. We visit every year and help do different things around the orphanage. We also play with the kids and they love every minute of it. They actually look forward to our visit every year. I don’t think its fair to say that this is hurting the kids emotionally or not keeping a long lasting relationship with them becasue our organization is a perfect example of a long lasting relationship. So I would actually tell people to go and volunteer as much as you can at orphanages and create relationships with the people. I understand that you do want to do some due dilligance on the orphange before funding any projects. If your working for the better of the people and the orphans then I don’t see a problem.

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