A mixture of passion to help those less fortunate than myself and the desire to completely immerse myself in another culture led me down the dusty dirt paths of the slums of Mishomoroni, Kenya, to New Hope Orphanage, with the countless rows of wide brown eyes greeting me at every corner. I was 18 and on my own, scared and apprehensive as I had never been out of Europe before, yet I found myself feeling somewhat at home among all of these new, smiling faces…
It’s hard to imagine that traveling four days for six days of volunteer service in Africa would be enough time to bring about anything but a severe case of jet lag. But the trip was eye-opening!
International travel for me isn’t about sightseeing; my adventures are to help orphans have a better life…
An emerging travel trend that combines spiritual, green, experiential travel and voluntourism, “meaningful travel” is an evolving niche in which the traveler is in a position to help the people of the destination through donating money, adopting a cause, volunteering or getting involved.
Think you can’t spare the time for volunteering abroad? Think again.
It would be lovely to be able to take off around the world for years, traveling from needy cause to needy cause and helping people all year round, but for most of us this just isn’t affordable, in terms of time or money…
Looking to impact women in an indigenous culture that your tourism dollars may not reach?
Travelers go to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro or safari in the Serengeti, yet your tourism dollars may not benefit the country’s Maasai nomads, particularly the women.
While tourism has begun to bring this tribal culture to the limelight, Maasai women remain economically oppressed with very limited economic or job opportunities from tourism.
A recent New York Times article on volunteerism raised the question whether voluntourism – travel and do good abroad – is “simply an act of of affluent tourism masquerading as community service?”
This skepticism is not new. Variations have been circulated by critics and cynics of voluntourism who say that if you truly have the desire to help, why not just volunteer at home, in your local communities.
From ChaCha, a service that answers questions, comes a great interactive infographic that gives you the scoop on voluntourism all in one page!
This simple chart provides history and perspective on the voluntourism market by answering the following questions:
Guest post from Christopher Hill of Hands Up Holidays on volunteer travelers’ expectations and challenges faced by travel operators.
Volunteer travelers’ expectations for their volunteer trips largely depend on who is volunteering. While there are ‘general’ expectations that are applicable to most, if not all volunteers, such as a sense of purpose and fulfillment…