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.
TRAVEL ADVISORY TRAVEL BLOG
Yeah right not a bad idea especially other west African countries this can also be done in conjunction with ministries that involve themselves in missionary activities but in carrying out activities of this nature one must take into consideration the religious,social and security situation of such countries so as not to put the teams safety at risk in all nice idea but hmnnnnnnnnnn?
Thanks for your feedback.Nice suggestions
Voluntourism is a very nice idea, I think this would help people to know more about other places.
But I would not buy the idea of asking volunteers to pay to volunteer.
They are already giving their time.
Thanks for your feedback and good point
Thank you for your feedback. I am glad you like the page
If I’m being honest, I think the negatives of voluntourism outweigh the positives. Many volunteers have good intentions but there are others who abuse the opportunity (sometimes unknowingly) and exploit the communities or individuals associated.
I think there are better ways to contribute to communities other than volunteerism (especially when it involves people). In Nigeria, you can be more involved, since it is your home country. However, generally, it is better to think about sustainable aid. For example, visiting an orphanage to interact with the children and then leaving, never to return again does more harm than good. It will be better to partner with the orphanage or an organization to raise funds to keep the place running, pay rent, buy food, send the kids to school and so on. Also, donations could be dropped off without necessarily interacting with the kids.
There are projects that seem like a good idea though but again, I would think long term. Things like cleaning up a beach, rehabilitating or rebuilding homes, if that’s a skill you have, and if you can fit that in your vacation time sound good. Otherwise, I would consider donating and volunteering at home (Nigeria) and only donating while abroad and on a short vacation.
Thank you so so much for your feedback. You gave a lot of nuggets!
You’re a kind heart Faith! Keep doing what you’re doing.
Thank you so much
I think volunteerism is a good idea and voluntourism.
How better can one expand their mind and capacity to connect with different people if not by meeting them? I don’t think the only doing good things should be the only reasons we volunteer. What about the person’s volunteering?
Volunteering help us become better people, people who think of solutions to problems, people who contribute value, not just consumers. It makes you a person that is not so focused on oneself and to be able to create a community wherever you are. Volunteering is not just about the activity being done. It has a lot to do with the person doing it and their motivation.
I think we should volunteer more.
While I was in the university, I wanted to travel to Ivory Coast for volunteering as an AIESEC member and though I didn’t, I knew it would have been very impactful so when I got the chance to volunteer as a fund raiser with the World Leadership Foundation, I seized it.
Though, my question was, why not focus my effort in my country instead of Colombia? We had same problems, right?
I am glad I took part in it and saw it through because more than anything else, I learnt that because we have problems too, does not mean we cannot reach out to others. It taught me that we are not always victims and humanity is same everywhere and where you get the chance to help, you do it.
However though, I am an active volunteer with Slum2School and have a social media based book drive to encourage literacy in Nigeria.
My two cents ✌
Amazing 👏 perspective, thank you so much for sharing these nuggets and your view.