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Paved with Good Intentions? The Orphanage Tourism Business and New Zealand’s Role

The United Nations declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. As we set sail into 2017, it is imperative to be reminded of the human rights implications of tourism. Facebook recently notified me that three years ago, I was volunteering in Cambodia. A photo of a group of us after a rice distribution served to remind me of my naiivity and the pressing need to educate young people about the dangers of orphanage tourism.   What is orphanage tourism? Voluntourism is the professionalised phenomenon of volunteering whilst traveling abroad in developing countries. One of the more popular forms is orphanage tourism, which includes day trips to […]

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Rethinking volunteering – reverse programs to the global north 1

The german government and civil society organizations are conducting an interesting experiment – and apparently a pretty successful one, too. Within the last four years almost 2000 volunteers from countries of the global south – development countries – came to Germany for their reverse voluntary service. They work in kindergartens, support local NGOs and international development agencies, support schools and work with elderly people. The important thing: Volunteers don’t have to pay for the stay. Their work and all occurring costs are covered by the government, NGOs and donors. But why? N.B.: This text has originally been published at our friends from vofair. Ever since the German government offered the possibility […]

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Local implementation of int. volunteer travel programs – outsourcing to grass-root organizations 2

The standard business model in the voluntourism industry is an outsourcing model where international sending organizations or travel agencies pass the responsibility on to local partners, in many cases small grassroots NGOs. If you ever wondered how these cooperations are designed and which consequences local NGOs have to face – here are the answers – which may suprise you.

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ivhq reviews: The voluntourism industry & its connections to review websites 15

Voluntourism and review websites highlights: ivhq reviews and abroadreview.com Voluntourism Review platforms such as www.goabroad.com, www.gooverseas.com as well as www.abroadreviews.com and voluntourism companies are closely connected as they benefit from each other. For years there have been rumors that International Volunteer HQ is connected to one of them, the review and advertising platform www.abroadreview.com which contains plenty of ivhq reviews and comments. Finally, we were able to carve out some strong indicators such as same names and ip adresses. After reviewing our work, we feel that they are strong enough to proof connections. A good friend of the IVHQ Director and the review website owner are named Nathan Kelly. Both, the friend of the IVHQ Director and the review website owner […]

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We know, it is not always easy to stay up to date. But if you are interested in the field of volunteering, voluntourism and responsible travel we can help you with that. Just subscribe to our newsletter and get your updates on a regular basis.  

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Efficient development cooperation & voluntourism: How to connect the dots

Most volunteers who take their time to go abroad and work in a local volunteering project are probably driven by curiosity, adventure or maybe just a little boredom. But there is one central motivation almost everyone claims to have: The idea to make a real difference. Or to quote Gandhi: to be the change that you wish to see in the world. Most former volunteers will notice: That is not an easy thing to do. When leaving the project, usually the very same beneficiaries will attend the project as on the first day of arrival. This challenge is not only limited to development project working with volunteers, it is an […]

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The Language on our website

In voluntourism there are unequal power relation involved between voluntourism companies and paying volunteers on one side as well as the receiving target groups (placements) on the other side. That is why we see it with concern how most companies advertise their voluntourism products and how many volunteers communicate their trip to their friends and relatives. Many expressions and pictures which are used rather cement racial prejudice, stereotypes and cultural assumptions about other people and groups far beyond the Voluntourism community. These cultural assumptions and prejudice are transferred into practices. Here we can see that language is fundamental to the way we interpret reality and can influence our surroundings and […]

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