volunteering & ‘voluntourism’ – there’s a difference!

volunteering & ‘voluntourism’ – there’s a difference!

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.



In May ‘people and places‘ was also featured – along with our wonderful local partners in Cambodia – in a piece about how to find the right placement … and the questions that all volunteers need to ask while assessing their options.

Sallie says that one of the key questions to ask is, “Would I be allowed to do this work in my own country?”

“If the answer is yes then look for an organisation that is seeking to use your skills to work WITH not INSTEAD of local staff and volunteers. If the answer is no – then please ask yourself who you think will be benefitting from your volunteer efforts – and could you be doing more harm than good.”



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