Picture a group of CAS students in a fictitious school in Africa.
They are discussing a CAS project that will take them into middle America.
“I even got on this optional excursion that’s going to let me go into Walmarts, that’s going to actually let me interact with real North Americans – yeah it’s so sick, bud.”
Irresponsible and misdirected volunteers abroad are the subject of this you-tube – “If voluntarists talked about North America”.
As explained and reported by Rachel Banning Lover in The Guardian, “the question of whether volunteering abroad does more harm than good is an age-old one. VSO’s latest report that volunteers make a valuable, yet often understated, impact on sustainable development did not silence all the critics.
And apparently this trend to altruism abroad is part of a $2bn industry.
“Christina Guan and Kaelan MacNeill, the two millennials (and former serial volunteers) behind the campaign say: ‘We know voluntourists aren’t monsters and they’re not intentionally wreaking havoc.’
What started as a project for the two communications students has now gone a lot further than Simon Fraser University. After years of volunteering at home, both of the campaign’s founders were keen to do a placement overseas – but as MacNeill, who’s also worked in the tourist industry, puts it – ‘the more it seemed like a smoke and mirrors show’. Knowing they probably weren’t the only ones hesitant about committing big bucks to a programme that may not be helping, they’re aiming to crack down on irresponsible voluntourism by spreading the word about what separates a good placement from a bad placement.
They’ve got a series of ONLINE RESOURCES you can share with friends considering a placement abroad. They also want to encourage debate on the topic over social media using, you’ve guessed it, #endhumanitariandouchery.”
Rachel Banning-Lover, The Guardian, April 16 2015