Thursday, March 3, 2016
Arguments against voluntourism
J., the anonymous author of the Aidspeak blog, is a tireless critic of voluntourism, which is to say any kind of arrangement whereby unskilled foreigners come to a country to do things that local people could do better themselves (and in the meanwhile the voluntourists divert their own and other resources into these ineffective or even detrimental projects instead of other, more worthy ones). Here is his taxonomy of the kinds of arguments people use to defend such voluntourism schemes, and his deconstruction of each of the arguments. And here is a firsthand account of someone who got her start in such misled voluntourism, but who has since learned some lessons directing her to more effective development models.