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All posts tagged Voluntourism

A 7-Night, $250 Cruise? Yes, and You Might Also Do Some Good

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The Fathom Adonia, from Carnival. FATHOM

I had been on only one cruise in my life: a hulking 4,252-person Royal Caribbean vessel that featured an ice-skating rink, a mini-golf course, a casino and a Johnny Rockets. It felt as if a small city had been ripped from its foundation, airlifted and placed on the water. David Foster Wallace’s famous essay on the perils of being pampered at sea rang true: Between the all-you-can-eat food, bad drinks and being compelled to participate in “Y.M.C.A.” more times than I care to admit, I was ready to never set foot on a cruise ship again. by Lucas Peterson, Frugal Traveler (29 September 2016). 

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Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. FATHOM

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The Adonia offers a chance to work on reforestation, in which volunteers plant trees and try to undo the effects of agricultural deforestation in the Dominican Republic. FATHOM

Find the original article on The New York Times.

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In 13 Epic Tweets, J.K. Rowling Shut Down People Who Think “Voluntourism” Is a Good Thing

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Voluntourism: J.K. Rowling

Image Source: POPSUGAR.

J.K. Rowling is known for shutting people down on Twitter (see: exhibits A and B) and now she’s speaking out against another idea: “voluntourism.” Over the weekend, the Harry Potter author tweeted about her charity called Lumos before someone asked her to retweet a message about an organization that offers volunteer experiences in orphanages abroad. In a series of messages that have now gone viral, Rowling expressed that such organizations do more harm than good. By 

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The Voluntourist’s Dilemma

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The Voluntourist’s Dilemma

Ben Stiller visiting Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in April 2010 as part of a school-rebuilding project in which he was involved. Credit Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for Artists For Peace And Justice

Several years ago, when I was working as a reporter based in Haiti, I came upon a group of older Christian missionaries in the mountains above Port-au-Prince, struggling with heavy shovels to stir a pile of cement and sand. They were there to build a school alongside a Methodist church. Muscular Haitian masons stood by watching, perplexed and a bit amused at the sight of men and women who had come all the way from the United States to do a mundane construction job. By Jacob Kushner. Read more.

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Last week was the International Volunteer Day which takes place every year on December 5th.

International Volunteer Day : orphanage tourism

“Children are not tourist attractions” www.thinkchildsafe.org

The growing popularity of international volunteering has led to the trend of orphanage tourism: people take time to volunteer at or visit an orphanage while visiting a foreign country. In Cambodia, a visit to an orphanage would include a short performance or dance routine by the children, accompanied with a request for a small donation to assist with orphanage running costs. Another version is for a tourist to volunteer for a few days at the orphanage. An entire industry has grown out of thousands of tourist visits.

A recent report into Cambodian orphanages has revealed that tourist visits, despite tourists’ best intentions, cause more harm than good. Orphanage tourism, often conducted by shady business operators, does more to harm, rather than help child protection, rights and education standards. In Cambodia, as in much of the developing world, orphanages opened for tourists are a problem, not a solution.

What can you do about it?

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Is Sustainable Tourism Sustainable? Mapping Outcomes Using GIS

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October 29 2015 – Tourism represents one of the top five exports for 83 percent of all countries and is the main source of foreign currency for 38 percent of countries. The industry continues to experience growth even in poor economic times. GISUSER Read more. 

The help and harm of the $173 billion “voluntourism” industry

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23 July 2015 – Well-intentioned volunteers travel around the world with the purpose of “giving back” to underdeveloped regions. For some, underlying motives of greed and narcissism by both organizations and individuals get in the way of charitable actions. Maya Wesby. Read more.

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Volunteering and Voluntourism: The Good, The Bad, and The Questions You Should Ask

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16 August 2015 – “Especially after the earthquake, many of these orphanages were set up just to make money from foreign volunteers. Traditionally in Haiti, we didn’t have orphanages. Once people realized they could make money from this, the orphanages began to appear. In some cases, the children there actually have parents.” Audrey Scott Read more.

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Why You Should Think Twice before Volunteering at an Orphanage Abroad

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3 August 2015 – It might seem like a good idea to visit an orphanage: there are so many children at those facilities around the world. You have probably heard testimonials from people who have described it as one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences of their lives, or something that reminded them about what’s really important in life—family. But visiting an orphanage when you’re abroad is not a good idea. Danielle Walsh Read more.

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Voluntourism

02 April 2015 – London, Paris…Kenya. Gone are the Europe-on-a-shoestring and glamping holiday packages: the rite of passage du jour for most young people is playing with orphaned children and building libraries in ‘underdeveloped’ countries far away from your own. Anna Cafolla. Read more.

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Photograph: AAP

Children at an orphanage outside the capital, Phnom Penh. Photograph: AAP

Volunteers and visitors urged to stay away, saying their growing presence damages children and allows exploitation.

Child protection and NGO workers are pleading with tourists and volunteers to stay away from orphanages in Cambodia, claiming so-called “orphanage tourism” damages the children and enables exploitation. Read more.

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