TRC #596.5: Voluntourism

A little something extra in your podcast feed this week, Checkers. With the recent spotlight on the WE Charity, we revisit a segment Darren originally covered in 2015 which explores the very disturbing downside of well-intentioned Voluntourism.

Download direct: mp3 file


Guardian article

TEDx talk

Bremner article

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1 Response to TRC #596.5: Voluntourism

  1. Rich Wilson says:

    I remember this segment very well…

    It reminds me of the religious group that used to invade our homeless shelter once or twice a month to “help the less fortunate” by serving us dinner – the dinner we’d have anyway but served quickly and efficiently by fellow homeless people who would actually get paid to do it. The church members were always late to start, slow, full of condescending looks and whispers – even occasional snide comments – and they had no business dealing with the lesser-functioning individuals.

    And don’t even think about criticizing, never mind complaining, since the staff would threaten to ban you for a week or longer for making these pure and wonderful saviors feel anything but proud.

    Meanwhile, instead of getting a break, the folks who usually did all the work had a more stressful time backing up those inept volunteers… and then had a more-difficult cleanup job after these do-gooders left the moment they were done serving. (They were in a hurry to get home because it’s to dangerous to pat yourself on the back that hard while driving.)

    To be fair though, when I did volunteer work in Israel (Sar-El) in the ’90s the main stated goal was for the volunteers to learn about and understand life in Israel… plus we were given all the horrid jobs that the military kids didn’t want to do. And yes, it was also a way for foreigners to show support for the Israelis… which Dina and I could probably have a decent discussion about the pros and cons of for both sides of the relationship. (But not something I’d want to do online in this political environment!)

    As always, I couldn’t ask for a better podcast. I love you guys, and I love all your families. (I’m sure Adam gets the ref.) Be safe and take care.

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