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 […]
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 […]
You want to learn on how – NOT TO – save the world? This website is for all do-gooders who are looking for a responsible volunteer trip but don’t want to end up in an irresponsible program accidentally. The campaign explains how to get started and gives plenty of good advice on how to pick the good programs. On top of that, there is a clear outline on what NOT TO DO when volunteering overseas. Furthermore, the campaign is great fun! It’s really creative which makes it interesting for everyone who is interested in responsible volunteering! Puting an end to irresponsible volunteering Their website aims to raise awareness and educate about how to volunteer responsibly. They want to ensure that volunteers […]
Learning Service: A great website full of resources! A helpful guide book can be downloaded there (if you register), which we found to be extremely helpful for anyone considering to volunteer overseas. In addition a self check tool for voluntourism companies or institutions that receive volunteers can be downloaded without registering. On top of that you find plenty of helpful self made videos on their website and youtube channel, which help to understand voluntourism and to prepare for a volunteer trip overseas. The organization announced the release of a book about voluntourism. You can be notified about the release here. Learning Services keeps the public updated with articles about intercultural learning […]
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.
A unique documentary outlining the challanges of a normal volunteer “The Voluntourist” is a 30 min documentary questioning the impact of international volunteering on local communities. The film does not aim to list all the possible negative impacts of poorly arranged international volunteering programs, but instead raises certain overarching questions through a series of interviews. From a past voluntourist for futur volunteers This movie is for everyone who is planning to volunteer overseas, an absolutely must watch that makes you think twice. It was developed by a former voluntourist for future volunteers. Once you decide to volunteer overseas we highly recommend you to watch this great piece of work. Check out the trailer below, their homepage […]
An exciting documentary about the problem of orphanage voluntourism An Australian TV team went undercover with a hidden camera and took on the problem of the orphanage business industry and orphanage voluntourism. The one hour long documentary explains superficialy how western money and western volunteers fed and drove the growth of orphanages for a decade. On top of that it outlines the problem of sex trafficking and child trafficking in orphanages. A sensationalist thirsty piece which was poorly researched What gave us a a bit of a bad feeling were the extreme exaggerations and overstatements. Sabour Bradley and the former SISHA Director and ex-detective Steve Morrish sensationalized the topic. They turned Cambodia into […]