This blog article reports on a recent debate between Al Jezeera journalist and a large volunteer sending organisation
“Unsurprisingly, there’s a great deal of interest in volunteering abroad from the student community, whether as a constructive way of spending gap year travel abroad, CV-boosting experience or altruistic desire to support others less fortunate. And so The UCLU European Society held a controversial debate to discuss whether such voluntourism is “a modern way of charity, something akin to the annoyance of Gap Yah hipsterism, or a dangerous misconception of what international development is all about.
Reporter Juliana Ruhfus and director Matt Haan’s Al-Jazeera produced short documentary “People & Power: Cambodia’s Orphan Business” was first shown. Initially displaying a well managed orphanage and school project, The People’s Improvement Organisation (though in challenging conditions), Ruhfus soon discovers how some orphanages not only rely on volunteers to generate income and survive, but how this is becoming big business in Cambodia, fuelling the exploitation of Cambodian children and separation of them from their families.