Voluntourism is the act of paying for a trip to travel the world while volunteering. This event is a form of tourism. An important point to note is it is short-term. People go to developing countries to help the poor in the community. Through teaching English, constructing orphanages and building wells. Travel and altruism hugely combine in voluntourism. People who afford to travel go to such, which is why you find young people are challenged to go to such. Usually,this takes a couple of months usually 3-4 months. Staying more than this is not voluntourism. Also, this is a form of a service trip to give back to society.
Moreover, people sometimes go looking for an authentic experience. There is an aspect of it being poverty tourism. Africa is regarded as a hub of such, that is, also with broad cultural aspect. People go to such places to lend a helping hand. People often stereotype people’s motives when going to Africa. This should not be the case. Age should be not less than 14 to go for such trips. It needs maturity to function well in a closed cultural environment. Non-governmental organizations have the luxury of choosing who to go for to such trips.
The good intentioned westerners make a tangible contribution to the communities as well as be enriched by a new culture that is not of their own. Most of the people are happy because of the popularity of this venture. Voluntourism is now an emerging lucrative venture that has been in existence in the past 20years. A controversy has crept in whether this brand of touring is genuinely helping or creating more challenges. With in-depth understanding, voluntourism can hurt the communities we are supposed to help.
The idea that someone might be having the best intentions doesn’t mean that he or she is skilled. Forexample, to work as a carpenter or a teacher. A challenge can come in when you are required to offer services in the field, which is, teaching kindergarten students in the marginalized areas of the world. A foolish notion is thinking of it as an easy venture of just disseminating knowledge to them with no challenges or barriers. The undertaking requires critical skills to undertake. Therefore it is not just about being well-intentioned. You can find that even the required task of teaching English isn’t done but other activities creep in. For example; painting, playing games, teaching about weather or even animals.
However, there is looking down upon the communities of the less developing countries. The wrong direction is having a notion of having a superiority complex since you are coming from a developed country, Which is not usually the case. It poses a challenge that the communities reminisce of the colonial days_thereby resulting in resistance to such projects.
On a global dimension, voluntourism becomes a subordination of the developing countries as in need of desperate help. With the notion the wealthy nations, that is, the westerners will be of assistance in such a setting. Which brings about the idea of overdependence and this is in the form of enormous interest rates on debts and capitalism imposed by the westerners’ in-play.With such an attitude, it poses an imbalance not easily eradicated. We see such countries not being our equals and as a pitied group in the world’s setting.
An argument comes in, with cultural identity degradation. Westerners bring new ways of handling affairs of handling intracultural problems in play. The westerners employ solutions to intra-cultural issues they don’t fathom. Another challenge being the people undertaking voluntourism when they go to the community. They take employment opportunities which would otherwise be for the locals when they take the role of building orphanages or wells.
Another challenge is that organizations always strive to maximize profits. That’s why they need our money to spend there. The notion of just staying at home to make more money, therefore, creeps in. There is harsh environmental conditions, which the tourists are going to such places are not accustomed to resulting in sicknesses. Thus, the organization in place should cater to such.The language barrier also plays an active role also with the local community. For instance, for some countries learning English may not be their number one priority.
In some cases, guides are not well paid, so they instead do something else than this venture. The organization offering such events should, therefore, cater for their welfare. Small, thus, face a colossal challenge to provide to such. It is left for such organizations to offer stringent techniques to give optimal solutions for this situation.
On the other hand, voluntourism is a vital venture that can be used to create a positive impact on the world as a whole. There is access to more resources to the marginalized communities. A huge stride that should be done is to avoid the mentality of dominance. There is the enlightenment of local communities, which is of great benefit. This increases their cultural understanding bases. Alleviating poverty is also seen as a result of voluntarism. Lots of marginalized communities can experience a taste of life, that is, through funded projects.
It is paramount to note that the pros outweigh the cons of such an event. The only controversial point of view is that voluntourism should be in the form of lending ahelping hand. There are a lot of people in the marginalized communities living in extreme poverty. Therefore, we should give a helping hand. Which leads to equality and helping developing countries develop. The modern world setting should be that of helping rather than that, of the notion of being exploitative. Voluntarism should be encouraged in all works of life and instead ofcriticizing. We should promote it. It should be as a prospect of being mindful of others and not furthering our causes.
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