Lets start this conversation with the meaning of some of these words above:
Voluntourism: A form of tourism in which travelers participate in voluntary work i.e for a charity.
Volunteering: An unpaid activity whereby we give our resources, time, energy, service, effort etc. to help a not for profit organisation or an individual.
A number of times,while I think of ticking off more items on my bucket-list, some of the other places I want to visit, explore, experience etc. I also sometimes think of voluntourism.
Prior to now, all my volunteer experience have been in Lagos/Ogun which include: volunteering for a Makoko outreach, being a member of the Lagos state book drive initiative (mainland chapter) this initiative won an award at the SME 100 Africa 25 under 25 Awards as a result of our outstanding activities, I have served as the team lead of Naza Agape Foundation(Lagos branch).
During my service year(N.Y.S.C), I volunteered with other corp members who were also a part of SDGS (Sustainable Development Goals) and we carried out various projects, I served as the Secretary General of Project Good Education.
Currently, I am a volunteer with the Value Adding Woman. To know more about these initiatives please check my LinkedIn page: Faith Oguntayo.
After doing some of these, I have asked myself: how can I be of impact in more cities and in more countries beyond the places above? In recent times, especially with more racism issues; I have asked myself: can voluntourism in any way or in someways help to foster genuine love, peace, togetherness, joy etc amongst us irrespective of our skin colour
I have asked myself: If when I travel to other countries, beyond doing the exciting activities on my bucket-list, patronizing the locals in the country, boosting the economy of the country, interacting with the citizens,learning about their culture, learning about their history etc. Can I also volunteer in their various less privileged initiatives, can I also give my time,skills and resources to those who cannot afford it in these countries like I do in my home county?
Some school of thought say voluntourism has had some negative effects: such as sending college students to volunteer in activities which are not their area of expertise, companies sending their staff on some weeks of voluntourism is a means of them saving money of engaging the citizens of the host countries(On this point i ask myself: won’t the company incur costs on sending these staff: flight tickets, accommodation,feeding,logistics and other expenses) and not necessarily to help, some countries asking volunteers to pay some money before they are allowed to volunteer in their country etc. What is your opinion on these?
Will love to get your feedback in the comments section. Please share some areas in which you have volunteered(the places and what you/the team did), what do you think about voluntourism(is it a good or bad idea?) If you think it is a good idea let us know why, if you think it is a bad idea let us also know why.
Thank you for reading and thank you in advance for engaging. Looking forward to your feedback.
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