This video highlights many of the challenges of international volunteerism. It boils down to what is your intention and what is the intention of the organization you’re traveling with. For Discover Corps, we are quite clear that our travelers are not going to be “development experts” in a week or two. Rather, we partner with reputable non-profit organizations in each country that know how to use international volunteers. By doing this, our travelers simply plug into the existing good work of in-country organizations.
It becomes the responsibility of Discover Corps to orient our travelers about cross-cultural communication, ethnocentrism, and cultural expectations.
Do you have any stories of volunteer trips that have ended in disaster?