I would like to gain 2 weeks volunteering in Buenos Aires (or possibly anywhere in South America). I am overloaded with info at the moment as to what is good and what isn’t. My question is this; What are the best options. I can only offer a 2 week period.
International Volunteering Quality Standards
Thanks a lot for your question.
Check out the quality standards we drafted for international volunteer programs, they will help you to identify a good volunteer company or organization. Additionally we recommend you to check out the quality standards the non-profit organization Weltwegweiser drafted recently here.
Visit our Facebook Group Critical volunteering reviews ( IVHQ, Projects Abroad, Frontier and others) in which industry professionals, future and past volunteers exchange information as well as support each other. One person posted recently about volunteering in South America, you can use the search section to find past comments.
International Volunteering and Quality Standards – how to get started
To get to know what volunteering overseas is all about, http://www.learningservice.info is the place to get started. It is a great website full of resources! A helpful guide book can be downloaded online (if you register). On top of that you find plenty of helpful videos on their website and their YouTube channel, which will help to understand voluntourism and to prepare your trip.
Another helpful resource was developed by Comhlám (http://www.comhlamh.org), an Irish based organization working on social justice, human rights and development. They offer on their website intercultural learning opportunities as well as professional advice on volunteering for development. You can find lots of resources and documents also writte by Comhlám themselves. They help you with a social media – and various other guide books.
And before you are about to finish your volunteering overseas experience, they can even guide you with their excellent coming home guide.
If you are planning to volunteer with children or in an orphanage, http://www.bettervolunteeringbettercare.org offers must read information about why volunteering in an orphanage might often not be in the best interests of children. This website offers helpful statistics, research and articles which will give you deep insights into why most orphanages should should not be a place for volunteers.
International Volunteering Quality Standards on You Tube
If you are too lazy to read all of this, the Al Jazeera series on voluntourism might be THE resources made for you https://www.youtube.com/playlist… ! The documentaries and interviews describe extremely well the impact of voluntourism, institutional care and the big business behind it. Five of the videos are part of one research trip of Al Jazeera in Cambodia in 2012. All videos together give you a many-sided view on voluntourism and its impact as well as good ideas about how voluntourism can be like. Al Jazeera did not only go undercover into orphanages to reveal that voluntourism companies have no quality standards and child protection structures in place, but also talked in a talk show about the industry. Take your time and watch it.
Good luck with your search and let us know, where you will end up!