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Are Volunteer Vacations Sustainable?

Volunteer vacations are becoming more popular as people realize that — now more than ever — we live in an interconnected world. And it’s clear we can learn from each other culturally and create lasting relationships through volunteering abroad. But how sustainable are volunteer vacations? Do these types of trips help the planet — or hurt it? When done … Continued

What’s the Point of Volunteering Abroad?

A few weeks ago, we received an interesting comment on our post “Do Volunteer Vacations Do More Harm Than Good?” The commenter noted: “You don’t address the issue of money spent making the trip as opposed to simply donating money to an indigenous charity working directly with the people.” And it’s a great point. Many … Continued

Do Volunteer Vacations Do More Harm Than Good?

You’ve probably heard of a “volunteer vacation” before. And you might have wondered if they really do any good. After all, what impact can an unskilled person have on a week or two during their holidays? What does some couple from suburban America know about community development?

Ethics of International Volunteerism

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.  

Voluntourism: Doing it Right (Part 2)

In our last post, we discussed the key points to take into consideration when planning a volunteer vacation. These include the long term development plan of projects, the stakeholders involved and ongoing involvement of the local communities. The debate over voluntourism continues. The primary question that is typically raised remains a simple one- how much … Continued

Voluntourism: Doing it Right

Recently, the radio program “Here And Now” on NPR ran this thought-provoking story about voluntourism.  In it, they described the debate that has encircled volunteer travel ever since it started – how to balance the experience provided by the travel company with the well-being of the community. Discover Corps doesn’t think it’s a balancing act … Continued