SO YOU MAY KNOW
In our relentless pursuit to become prognosticators of planetary dissolution, 13 November 2009 marks yet another of Hollywood's ubiquitous installments in this never-ending series - "2012." The Mayan calendar will reach the conclusion of one of its five cycles and human civilization will be eradicated once more on a motion picture screen. For those who view the hype as the 'revelations' of half-wits, however, Mayan civilization may garner salient appeal, so much so that you may decide to visit Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras or Belize over the next three years. Can VolunTourism be a vehicle for contributing to the Mayan culture - the preservation of its wealth of knowledge and understanding as well as the support of its people during this upcoming period? Yes - I believe it can.
FEATURE ARTICLE 1
A Piece of Our Hearts Will Always Be in South Africa
What happens when a family makes a deeper connection with a destination through a voluntourism experience? In truth, we do not know very much about the long-term implications. Thanks to Eileen and Larry Kugler and their daughter Sara, however, we are on our way to discovering at least one answer. Via this recounting of their two-trip connection with the AV Bukani Primary School in Nomathamsanqa Township in Addo, South Africa, Eileen and Larry share their observations and unique engagement with the teachers, students, parents, and grandparents of the community.
FEATURE ARTICLE 2
The Socially Desirable Response: Is It VolunTourism's Bane, Too?!?
For the last several years, I have been tracking a variety of survey results and statistical information published on voluntourism and volunteer vacations. The first observation I will share is that it may be time for a statistical chiropractor because something is definitely out of alignment. What respondents to surveys actually do and what they say they do or want to do is dramatically different. This has led me on a chase through the academic literature and, in what may be a eureka moment, I believe I have discovered at least one potential explanation: Socially Desirable Responding (SDR). It has been the bane of the 'green' movement and giving & volunteering over the years. Is it VolunTourism's Bane, Too?!?
Your Letters To VolunTourism.org
Apologies to Shane K. Beary of Voluntourists Without Borders for taking nearly five months to respond to his query. Shane, I hope the response is helpful. Read More>>>
Wisdom & Insight
Additional Perspective on Development and Volunteer Tourism
Building on last issue's So You May Know column, I have asked Dr. Anna Mdee (formerly Toner) to share some of her recent research on volunteer tourism. In November 2008, an article co-authored by Dr. Mdee and Richard Emmott entitled "Social Enterprise With International Impact: The Case for Fair Trade Certification of Volunteer Tourism" was published in Education, Knowledge & Economy. In their conclusion, Mdee & Emmott wrote: "Its (volunteer tourism) impact in terms of skills transfer is probably minimal and incremental on an individual level, but as an input of localised revenue when also supported by long-term relationships and capacity-building, the longer-term impact might be significant." Read More>>>
Voluntourism Controversy: "Time for Us All To Grow Up"
The Wanderlust Team reminds us although the Ides of August begin the season for anti-voluntourism rhetoric that it might very well be the "time for us all to grow up." Perhaps we can move beyond the controversy to a point of "taking responsibility for our own altruism." Read More>>>
Mega-Sporting Events & VolunTourism
Over the next three years, we will be privy to several Mega-Sporting Events - the 2010 Winter Olympics, the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2011 Special Olympics, and the 2012 Summer Olympics & Paralympics. In order to gain some insight into the growth of participation in sport voluntourism and the fact that major sporting events rely, in part, on voluntourists to fulfill their respective person-power needs, I have asked Dr. Sheranne Fairley to respond to this issue's 3Q's Read More>>>
Lemon Tree Tours
In this issue of The VolunTourist Newsletter, we are taking a closer look at how VolunTourism may be able to contribute, in part, to supporting the Millennium Development Goals, specifically, and development in general. Amy Adler has her own thoughts on this subject, in particular, how her efforts with Lemon Tree Tours have been built upon the foundation of a long-term framework for operating with the well-being of Peruvians as the uppermost consideration in the design and implementation of her tours. Read More>>>
Study & Research with Dr. Nancy McGehee
The Cultural Dimensions of Volunteer Tourism
For this issue of the Research Forum, Dr. Nancy McGehee welcomes Dr. Anne Zahra. Anne has had a twenty-five year personal involvement in volunteering both as a volunteer working with rural and urban poor in less developed countries and as an organizer of educational-based development projects for volunteers in Fiji, Tonga, India, and the Philippines. She has also coordinated AusAid projects in South America through her long-term involvement with Reldev Australia Limited, an NGO registered with AusAid. In this brief, Dr. Zahra discusses the experiences of voluntourists in the cultural context of the Maori people in New Zealand and how this compares to 'traditional' cultural tourism. Read More>>>
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