All posts tagged: Skilled Volunteering

Avoiding voluntourism – how to choose a volunteering project overseas

There’s been a fair amount of negative rhetoric in the media recently about volunteering abroad, or as people have come to label it: voluntourism. The Gap Yah videos highlighted a caricature everyone can recognise in at least one of their acquaintances – that self-righteous and ultimately vacuous individual who reports tirelessly on their quest for self-enlightenment in various third world countries. So when I was thinking about quitting my job, travelling abroad and giving up some of my time to a charity, I had these concerns at the front of my mind, keen to avoid becoming part of this troubling group. I was reminded of the stories you sometimes hear about volunteers in the UK: big businesses sending skilled employees out to help a cause, but the charity lacking the resources to prepare for it. And, whilst they don’t need the offered time, they could very much use the cash donation that comes with the deal. So the loaned workers are deployed in the more menial daily tasks of running the organisation: gardening, cleaning, the making of …