Responsible Volunteering is an independent, privately owned website not affiliated with any provider of volunteer programs.
We believe that responsible volunteer programs are a great option to those who are willing to spend their time and money to get in touch with different countries, cultures and living conditions and who do not want to spend their holiday in a premium beach hotel.
But we believe it is a tough challenge to create a program that is really making a change. Therefore we want to inform, support and encourage those who try.
We met many volunteers who have only the best intentions but who – due to a lack of information – are choosing programs which aim not to support local communities but to generate money out of the volunteer’s work.
This homepage aims to be of special interest to those who are planning to volunteer and everyone interested or working in the field of voluntourism. It provides up-to-date information about the voluntourism market and brand new articles about Responsible Volunteering and related topics.
responsible-volunteering.com is a single platform bringing together a broad range of relevant information, data, discussions and analysis of interest. The aim is to promote and share learning in order to enhance a common understanding of the situation across the voluntourism market and research. Sharing key information will inspire volunteers and operators change and develop the market.
This platform will ensure that volunteers can make a sustainable choice that benefits all parties involved. When it comes to signing up for a volunteering experience abroad, there are endless options out there. Done right, volunteering overseas can have a profound impact on the volunteer, the receiving organization and the community. Done wrong, it can cause a lot of harm.
The objectives of responsible-volunteering.com are:
- Provide a platform that helps potential volunteers to make good choices
- Gather a range of information that helps operators and volunteers
- Connect people interested in the field of voluntourism
- Bring more transparency to the world of international volunteering
- Promote and share information in order to enhance a common understanding of the idea and impact of voluntourism.
We have volunteered ourselves, worked in the field for many years and have been following the discussion of international voluntourism throughout the whole time.
We found that there are not enough independent platforms which provide high quality advice and information’s to help future volunteers. Most platforms are affiliated with companies and organizations, we aim to give independent advice and use the knowledge we gained to help develop the voluntourism market.
If you like our work and want to support us, we feel honored. Please feel free to spread the word and to share and forward our posts. If you want to support us financially: Thank you very much, but we will not accept any support to maintain and guarantee our complete independence.
Sebastian has a full formation in hotel and tourism business and eight years of experience in international development cooperation, lived in five countries and on three continents. He started to get into the world of development cooperation in 2008 when he volunteered for one year in Cambodia for a local Voluntourism project. He then received a contract as an advisor through Bread for the World in Germany and supported the development of the program Volunteer Action for Cambodia by Star Kampuchea until 2012. During this time, he worked alongside more than 15 international volunteer agencies such as International Volunteer HQ, EXIS, IFRE, Global Crossroad, Rustic Volunteers, New Hope Volunteers, RCDP Nepal, Love Volunteers, Volunteering Solutions, Ubelong, Edge of Seven, Children’s Global Alliance and many more smaller once. At the same time he was responsible for the development of the governmental founded volunteer program “weltwärts” of Bread for the World in Cambodia and it’s mentoring. Beside this he supported Mission EineWelt, Banyan Tree e.V. and Red Cross Germany with their accompanying measures (seminars, workshops etc.).
From 2012 to 2013 he changed into the head office of Bread for the world where he was responsible for the administration of their volunteer program. Today he is studying International Social Work and Development and works part-time in development projects. Part of this course was an internship in the Solomon Islands where he taught tourism, communication skills, human rights and developed a volunteer program for Don Bosco Technical Institute Solomon Islands.
Daniel is working at one of Europe’s biggest private funded NGOs and is responsible for the impact measurement and improvement of volunteer services. He is consulting governmental agencies and NGOs in how to improve the quality and administration of volunteer services. Before, Daniel worked for various NGOs in Germany and as a student assistant at the Justus-Liebig University in Gießen, Germany. In 2006 Daniel spend one year as a volunteer in Brasil and returned afterwards accompanying a travel group. Still today, Daniel is affiliated with the organisation that he volunteered with. He studied French, Portuguese and Economics in Germany and France. In 2015, Daniel completed his MBA Program in Berlin and Cambridge.
Friederike gained her work experience and background in hotel and tourism management during her studies in Lausanne (Switzerland) and Wernigerode (Germany). During her studies, she went to Tajikistan as an intern to work in an economic development project with one of the largest NGOs in Europe, the Welthungerhilfe. Shortly after completing her bachelors degree, Friederike published her bachelor thesis “The importance of child protection in Volunteer Tourism”, which she wrote in cooperation with Tourism Watch, a department within Bread for the World. During her masters studies in International Development at the University of East Anglia (Norwich, UK), she worked as a researcher in conjunction with Tourism Watch and other organisations such as ECPAT to publish the policy paper “From Volunteering to Voluntourism”. During that time, she was able to represent her research at the first International Volunteering Conference in London, hosted by Tourism Concern. Already having worked in New York City back in 2013, life took her back to the United States after her studies. Having lived abroad nearly half of her life, she is now working and living in Miami. Friederike gives guest talks once every term at Florida International University (Miami, USA) in relation to volunteering and child protection with special focus on commercial volunteer providers. Aside from work, she is an active triathlete and fencer and also plays the violin in a Miami community orchestra.
You want to write for us?
That’s great, because we need you! We are extremely interested in different views, expertise and experience. Whether it is about your own volunteering experience, a view you have on a certain matter or research you conducted. We would love to hear from you. Drop as an email and let us know how you can contribute to our website and cause. Thank you!
Our Social Media Presence
This group was started by Sebastian in 2012, as there was no platform where volunteers could post negative reviews or share and discuss critical perspectives with each other without the posts being deleted. He was so frustrated seeing hundreds of comments being deleted and disappearing from forums and companies Facebook groups .
Once the group got alive, it grew quickly and Sebastian decided to ask the group members to vote for the name of this group.
Now the group has become part of Responsible Volunteering but the goal stayed the same. The group is a platform to exchange ideas and experiences about the negative impact voluntourism can have and to collect critical reviews which cannot be influence or deleted. Experts from various fields, former volunteers and company owners are part of the group, which makes it one of the biggest platforms on Facebook to discuss the subject voluntourism. Join here
This page exists to get the word out. We post here our newest work and articles, general news about voluntourism as well as the most interesting materials we find about voluntourism. We post in average only once or twice a week to keep you updated and do not want to overload you with updates. Please subscribe and click see first to stay in touch and share your view about the articles we post. The Facebook page is the biggest of it`s kind and can be found via google on the first result page when looking for Responsible Volunteering. Help us to grow and to get the word out by liking and interacting with our page. Like us here
Good Volunteer Twitter Page
This page exists to stay in touch with fellow activists, volunteers and experts. We post more news then on our Facebook page and hope to get the word out to as many people as possible! We post here most articles we find interesting bur also the once we have not commented ourselves. We discuss topics and hope to interact with the people who join our cause and read our website as well as the people and projects we write about. Follow us here.
Follow us on You Tube to get updates about our playlists. Also once we have settled we plan to produce our own videos, stay tuned! You can visit our website for more videos from varies platforms such as Vimeo or Facebook.
We are using Google+ almost the same way as we use our Facebook Page. Follow us here to get updated about our work and general news about voluntourism.
Together, we can look back at more than 20 years of experience regarding volunteering, tourism and travel. In addition with our skills as social worker and manager we can help NGOs and agencies to in starting, maintaining or expanding voluntary services. Improving quality issues is our main focus. We are willing to support any effort and initiative working towards the goal of sustainable and responsible volunteering. If your program is looking for advise or support, please feel free to contact us via the contact form below.
If you want to get in touch with us, just fill out the form below – we will get back to you as soon as possible.