Archive for the 'volunteering in the news' Category
Travelocity has re-launched its Travel For Good programme of grants, offering 3 lucky winners the opportunity to travel and volunteer, also promising to donate an amazing $10,000 to a charity of the winners’ choice …
Just think what could be achieved for you, your project and your chosen charity …
“We’re sending three inspiring people on their dream voluntourism trips of a lifetime, and donating $10,000 to the charity of their choice.”
And YOU could be one of those lucky winners – give it a go !
We will do all we can to help you win if you volunteer with us!
astonishing … just as we clicked ‘publish’ on our previous post about “orphanage volunteering“ … we received the following enquiry about a placement:
“Citizenship: United States
Category: Volunteer Abroad
Desired Program: Orphanages
Duration: 2 weeks max this winter”
We responded politely and fully, explaining why this is a BAD IDEA … Here are some of the links we sent:
but some organisation will no doubt be pleased to take this volunteer’s money and place them somewhere inappropriate …
It’s taken a while, but gradually the media is beginning to recognise and write about the POSITIVE results of volunteering, and how to achieve such results. At ‘people and places‘, we’ve always differentiated between volunteering and ‘voluntourism’ … this understanding is beginning to be expressed in the media … gradually !
‘people and places‘ was featured in an article in The Guardian in May … with the usual sort of headline, unfortunately … but with a far more positive sub-heading:
“If volunteers are truly to help communities overseas, charities and NGOs must take the time to match their skills with the right projects”
No surprise there for us! Putting the right people in the right places is exactly what we do for each individual volunteer placement … matching is the key for volunteers and projects to benefit from their time together.
Seems to be a ‘media day’ … this article in The Guardian today asks, yet again, whether ‘voluntourism’ does more harm than good …
“If volunteers are truly to help communities overseas, charities and NGOs must take the time to match their skills with the right projects,” says Matthew Jenkin, editor of Guardian Careers
Key word: “MATCH” …
Our own approach here at ‘people and places‘ is – and always has been – to begin with an understanding of local need in order to match each volunteer’s skills and experience to local need. This matching process – vital in facilitating mutually rewarding and beneficial placements – takes time and is paramount!
Sallie gives a brief synopsis of our approach:
“There are a number of cultural issues – will the local community be comfortable with strangers in their midst? How will they make sure that their culture is protected and respected? They need to make sure that the recruitment organisation has devised a code of conduct and, if there are children present, a child protection policy. A needs assessment must be done.”
Really useful tips, advice and pointers in this article to guide your research when you’re beginning to think about volunteering in projects abroad … how to find the right project for you …
Begin by asking lots of questions … and expect full answers !
Sallie is quoted, as is Michael, our local partner in Cambodia, where our volunteers work in this community project in Siem Reap.
Michael’s question 1: “Does the project where you’ll be working meet a real need, and is it the appropriate response to that need?”
and from Sallie: “Would I be allowed to do this work in my own country?”
Win a childcare experience
All too often we are horrified by the “opportunities “offered to well meaning people – we publish few but this one is so irresponsible we had to share it.
Well, actually, we are sharing Dave Coles recent blog post (he does wonderful work heping LSE students find responsible volunteering opportunities.)
Bravo Dave – wish we’d written this piece.
“since when did it become acceptable to offer time with children as a prize? Would you be happy if your son, sister, nephew or grandchild was being offered up as a competition win for people from thousands of miles away? Have the families of these children given consent for their youngest to be sold in this way? There is a reverse lottery at play here. The children in Nepal, Mexico or Thailand don’t know if they are getting a “good” volunteer of a “bad” one. The difference being is that they didn’t enter that competition.”
and if you would like to see the original offer of the prize
put GVI childcare prize into a search – we ain’t goona promote it!
One of our hard-working volunteers, currently in Saint Lucia, is a retired civil engineer … using his experience to support the historic restoration work of the Saint Lucia National Trust …
Here’s yesterday’s video and report in the local media:
“Apostles’ Battery Restoration”
The Saint Lucia National Trust has undertaken a major restoration exercise at Apostles battery on Morne Fortune. The project is being executed under the expert supervision of Godfrey Weir who is a civil engineer from People and Places. The Saint Lucia tourist board sees the activity as part of a major development project which will take place at various sites on Morne Fortune.”
Just goes to show that even if you’re not a teacher or a health care worker, there’s likely to be a project with people and places where your skills and experience could be be put to good use!
“Our programs are not designed to meet the expectations of volunteers to do ‘something new’.
Paul Miedema, our local partner at Calabash in South Africa, wrote this excellent article about the priorities for ethical volunteering.
The article is in German, but there’s a translate button at the top right of the article,
Well said, Paul
Great to see 3 of our volunteer programmes featured in The World Travel Guide
12 Ethical Experiences for 2015
- and pleased to say that we are in great company!
“Despite the market being swamped with capitalist ventures masquerading as morally sound institutions, there are a number of ethically conscious organisations out there offering both beneficial trips and meaningful volunteer placements.”
You can read an article Kate was interviewed for