Sallie has just had a little rant on the Better Volunteering page we manage on FaceBook
“There is a lot of discussion about “voluntourism” volunteer travel in the press and on blogs at the moment – and there is a rash of articles written by returned voluntourists who question the merit of their “3 days teaching” on their return home. Well Im getting cross – why didnt they question the merit – BEFORE they parted with a load of money and set off to change the world in a few hours. Why didn’t they question what possible help they could be without the requisite skills – and then whether even with the skills they could have positive impact in a matter of hours.Why didn’t they reseach the growing body of advise against short term unskilled voluntourism BEFORE they travelled? There are good organisations out there matching real skills to real needs – they are difficult to find – you have to do your homework – why arent more people doing so. Heres another of those articles that are making me so cross at the moment!
“reflecting on my own experiences and reading the opinions of those more qualified than I about the negative impacts voluntourism can have on communities, I have realized that these programs often do more harm than good and we must be careful about the channels we use when offering our services. All service is not good service and good intentions do not always translate to a positive impact.” ( it appears the writer volunteered for a matter of hours )