In an earlier post I posted extracts from two journal articles written by myself and our local partner in Cambodia about the ethics of volunteer programmes that engage with vulnerable children.( Read the original post here)
These articles were published in the journal “Progress in Responsible Tourism” edited by Xavier Font and Harold Goodwin of The International Centre for Responsible Tourism and published by Goodfellow Publishing.
Here is an update fron Xavier
Responsible Volunteering: The road to hell is paved with good intentions……
Working overseas as a volunteer, voluntourism, continues to grow as more people seek the experience of helping others abroad. People volunteer for lots of different reasons, most of them altruistic. Well organised and with the right safeguards in place volunteering is a good thing. But volunteering is complex – it can have unintended consequences and can be abused.
There is good reason to be concerned about some of the potential negative impacts of volunteering – these two papers from the first edition of Progress in Responsible Tourism address some of those challenges from the perspective of an originating market organiser of volunteering opportunities abroad and from a destination perspective. We share Harold Goodwin’s concern about both the unintended consequences of volunteering and the abuses which it can facilitate. We need to demand more Responsible Volunteering.
Goodfellow Publishing has made these two journal articles freely available as our contribution to an important campaign. Good intentions are not enough. Volunteers and organisers of volunteering need to consider carefully the consequences of their activity and to guard against exploitation by the careless and the unscrupulous alike.
Please take time to read the articles – they are important – particularly Michael’s.
And I would like to add my thanks to Goodfellows for their contribution to this important campaign.