In: Business and Management

Submitted By marinabvmagro
Words 1338
Pages 6
Voluntourism – The
Ethical Challenges of
Good Intentions
Professor Andreas Koestler
Practical Leadership in Development Aid Management
Marina Bittencourt Vasconcelos Magro
October 2015

A mindful, personal investigation into
Leadership, Development and Cooperation.


Over the past few years a new form of tourism has become increasingly popular, and evolved into a true international trend, Voluntourism. While there is no single accepted definition of what constitutes volunteer tourism or, more recently coined as, voluntourism, generally it involves volunteering in an organized way to undertake holidays that may involve aiding or alleviating the material poverty of some groups in society, the restoration of certain environments or research into aspects of local underprivileged communities.
Having volunteered since the age of nine, participating in over
30 local initiatives throughout my life, being currently board member of an
NGO and consultant for two others, as well as having worked as a field volunteer and project manager in
Cambodia for six months, has given me the paramount opportunity to dive into one of the biggest selfnurturing industries of incessant conceited behaviour. The pitch is simple, and frighteningly attractive.
Instead of another skiing trip to the
Alps or setting off to the Bahamas, why not a life-changing volunteer experience in a foreign, exotic country. The idea oozes with glamour and glorification, and it is not until one realizes that some volunteer projects may be at the risk of doing more harm than good, that we start questioning our inherent


good intentions as volunteers, to give back to society, rather than as well-educated citizens capable of recognizing arguably questionable initiatives. In a globalized world where information is readily accessible…...

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