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SO YOU MAY KNOW
What Happens When "White Saviors" Are No Longer the Majority?
A recent article by Teju Cole in The Atlantic has stirred my curiosity, amongst other things, regarding how we view the world of volunteering and helping. It seems that we still hold that the vast majority of helping is perpetrated by white Westerners. But what if this trend is changing? What if Techo.org had more than thousands of volunteers from Latin America go through its programs in 2011? What happens if volunteering is no longer a North-South/West-East phenomenon? What if lending a hand is simply what we do, as human beings, wherever we are from, whatever the color of our skin, whenever we travel?
FEATURE ARTICLE 1
Why Hotels & Resorts Are Best-Suited to Run Sustainable Voluntourism Programs
In a matter of a day or two following the publishing of this issue of The VolunTourist Newsletter, I will be joining the team members of the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota to learn about their Give Back Getaway™ partnership with Big Cat Habitat. Doubtless we will be discussing the win-win nature of these relationships between a well-known brand and its nonprofit partner, look no further than cause marketing which launched in the early ‘80s with the Statue of Liberty Campaign from American Express. But we will also likely talk about the essential elements of these relationships and exactly why hotels & resorts are best-suited to run sustainable voluntouirsm programs.
FEATURE ARTICLE 2
Voluntourism: Seven Years After Its New Orleans' Adoption
I was speaking to a journalist recently. She was inking a piece on family voluntourism and she asked me a very good question: “when did family voluntourism begin to expand?” I thought for a moment and realized that much of what we have seen in the growth and advancement in family voluntourism can be traced to the tourism and social sectors’ responses to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the U.S. Gulf Coast region. Over the seven years that have followed, we have observed a notable convergence between these two sectors and how the resulting collaboration has provided a host of opportunities for not merely families but numerous groups (including corporations) and individuals across the globe to get involved in supporting their respective travel destinations.
Your Letters To VolunTourism.org
Thank you for your letters, questions, and comments to VolunTourism.org. Read More>>>
Wisdom & Insight
Letting Go of Impact on Others
Probably the biggest challenge for those who wish to travel the world and be of service is the demand placed upon oneself, whether it be personally- or socially-“inflicted,” to make an impact. The pressure to make an impact has been continuously thrust upon us in an ever-growing body of literature from the academic community, the media, bloggers, and writers the world over. But wouldn’t it be better, wouldn’t it make more sense, if we changed the mantra of making an impact on others to making an impact on ourselves? Read More>>>
Voluntourism and Its Impact on the Global Dialogue Regarding Development, Finance, Volunteering, and Travel
Voluntourism has become a significant contributor to the dialogue on volunteering and on travel across the globe - most have noted this. What is also emerging is discussion on topics such as finance and development, particularly amongst academics and students, but also in the NGO community and amongst institutions such as the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank. Despite this, we keep struggling with how we actually feel about voluntourism. This issue's VT Lines offer some examples of this continuing struggle. Read More>>
One Small Island, One Mighty Mermaid!
Resort islands are unique destinations for the development of voluntourism programs. Small locales though they may be, there are a number of advantages to engaging travelers in serving these communities, especially with the possibility of directly supporting the natural environments of the space. Tybee Island is one such destination and Mermaid Cottages has spearheaded the voluntourism effort on this resort island. To learn more, I caught up with Diane Kaufman, founder of Mermaid Cottages, for this issue of The VolunTourist Newsletter to answer our 3Qs. Read More>>>
When Voluntourism Goes to the Big Beyond
Over the last few years I’ve been exploring some of Southern and East Africa’s most remote places in jam-packed rickety buses, pick-ups, cement trucks, boats, dug-out canoes, by foot and on motorbikes organising hundreds of meetings with diverse and disadvantaged communities, local grassroots organisations, governments, national parks and international volunteers in the field.
I’ve found places in real need of support, where international volunteer programmes will offer genuine opportunities to contribute to the sustainable conservation and development of some of the earth’s most fragile, but beautiful and inspiring places. My ambition is to connect people and nature in underprivileged corners of the globe, and to inspire individuals to make a difference, to do something amazing, to experience what’s beyond. And so Big Beyond was born.”
Study & Research with Dr. Nancy McGehee
Sustainable Tourism and Volunteer Tourism in Favela (Slum) Communities of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
For this issue of the research forum section of The VolunTourist Newsletter, we are pleased to share highlights from Ms. Jessica Aquino’s work in progress for her doctorate thesis. The purpose of her study is to examine the impacts of volunteer tourism in vulnerable communities, such as favelas (shantytowns) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. While her project has several components, the focus for this report will be volunteer tourist’s perceptions of the effects of volunteer tourism on the community. Jessica is currently at the University of Brasilia as an invited researcher and professor in the Center for Sustainable Development and working with the research group “Produção, Consumo, Turismo e Sustentabilidade,” under the direction of Helena Araújo Costa and Elimar Nascimento from March until September 2012. Jessica was awarded the Arizona State University Dissertation Fellowship 2012-2013 and will complete her doctorate in May 2013. Read More>>>
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