Where were my manners!

Where were my manners!

I have had a rant – it’s been that kind of a day –

this is the article  http://tinyurl.com/6zywwwe

and here is my comment – what do you think ? _ I am getting tired of repeated airings of the symptoms – surely its time for diagnosis if not a cure?

It was at a fair very similar to the one you describe that we at people and places started the
” Questions you should ask” campaign –
yep i know many organisations post such advice but believe me back in 2007 they didn’t and we made a lot of exhibitors unhappy with the list we armed potential volunteers with.
Take a look at http://travel-peopleandplaces.co.uk/About.aspx?category=20 for our latest suggested questions that any volunteer should ask and also how we have had our answers independently audited
. Managing responsible volunteer programmes is the most challenging work I have ever done and without the invaluable input of our local partners who are in and of  and already doing amazing work in their communities we would get it so much more wrong ( sorry very bad grammar)
there is real demand for short term volunteer travel – if those of us that are trying to be responsible and ethical simply say we will not manage volunteer programmes we will create a vacuum and the unethical will fill that very quickly and believe me there are already way too many of them out there – so lets encourage the good guys
and out the bad guys –
the organisations who offer the opportunity to hug children for 2 weeks and even worse to counsel them!,who tell communities they should not expect to be rewarded fairly for hosting volunteers because the volunteers are just that volunteers – the organisations that lead volunteers to believe that the majority of their funds reach the host country when they dont – the organisations that do no checks on the volunteers – the organisations that employ people to post bogus positive reviews on websites – the organisations that threaten 18 year olds with court action if they criticise them publicly -the organisations that sack local teachers because they know a volunteer will teach for free – and maybe worst the organisations that do not do due diligence on the orphanages they work with – enabling local charlatans to “exhibit” children who are not orphans – YES – all of the above does happen.
There are some very good volunteer recruitment organisations out there – they are usually small and cannot compete with the marketing bucks of the big guys.We need more naming and shaming by the two customers of this product – the volunteers and the communities they seek to serve
Sorry rant over

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