Every Tuesday, it’s Travel Talk on Twitter! Each week is a fun, new topic. Join either of the two sessions at 9:30am GMT and 9:30pm GMT to get in on all the fun travel talk!
Just follow the #TTOT hashtag!
Here’s the round-up of this week’s #TTOT on “Voluntourism – Impact or Impossible.”
Q1 via @FindTransfers: What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to give voluntouring a go?
- @worldwanders: Do it because you are passionate about volunteering and not because it looks good on paper
- @hjortur: See who the organizer really is. I found out halfway I was volunteering with a religious cult
- @LSEVolunteering: Research, Research, Research. Check out lots of organizations and ask them lots of questions. Good ones will answer them all
- @FraserApartment:: Do it for right reasons, not on a whim. It may be a gap year for you but for them it’s their life
- @hotels4u_com: Do lots of research! Ask for advice and tips from people that have done it before
- @timeallytravels: Really think about what it is you have to offer and ensure you can actually give the time you have agreed to
- @dealchecker: Make sure the organization is reputable and the causes involved are things you agree with or share in common
- @Gallachers1: Go with an open mind and willingness to work, but don’t expect to save the world in a month
- @HeadingThere: Do your research. Always know exactly who they are and exactly what they expect from you
- @TravelBlggr: Do something in a field you love, something you’re passionate about. Whether that’s animals, environmental, building, etc
Q2 via @AmbleResorts: Best voluntourism activity for a first-timer?
- @SaraKateTravel: Pick something that your comfortable with, that you think you’ll enjoy and can contribute to
- @nananapark: Start with something small – like help cleaning an old stadium for children to play in or help planting trees
- @mmMule_com: Go with a friend so you can share the life-changing times. And rough out the hard days together
- @MalloryOnTravel: Do something local, volunteering doesn’t necessary have to involve long haul travel or developing countries
- @TheBarefootBeat: Grow something! Whether it`s working on a farm or volunteering with a community garden, make an impact that`s sustainable
@reeseeverywhere: What was your most worthwhile voluntourism activity?
- @tinyiceland: Helping out at the food bank in Iceland. Felt good to be able to help others in need! Specially around Christmas
- @mytravelcom: Helping to rebuild parts of Pisco, Peru after it was destroyed by an earthquake
- @Canuckiwikate: When I spent two weeks at a childcare facility in Honduras, we took some paint/paper and did art with the kids in the afternoons
- @DestnUnknown: My most worthwhile was also my worst, in Cambodia. Learned SO many lessons on what to watch out for and better select in future
- @samyaptravel: Playing games with orphans in Jakarta, Indonesia. Love putting a smile on kids faces
- @laurenrambles: The hubs and I volunteered to help feed 3500 immigrant workers for Thanksgiving one year
- @PeterParkorr: My most valuable voluntourism was digging trenches in India to stop elephant and locals conflicting
@travelsportcopy: Which 3 things should potential volunteers look for in a credible volunteer program?
- @travelsportcopy: Must not replace local work; must be sustainable/accountable; must not exploit
- @FloraBaker: What impact will I make? Am I passionate about the project? Where is my money going?
- @Intrepid_Travel: Check who’s behind the organization,where money goes and try to find out what the local community thinks
- @anne_elizabeth: Financial transparency, safety, and of course…happy alumni
- @globescribbler: Definitely get in touch with people who have used them, do proper research (beyond just their website)
- @lethers: Where does the money go? Do the locals really benefit? Has the organisation a good reputation?
@pandpvolunteer: What info websites can you recommend for volunteers who are researching?
- @DaniCarlucci: Try http://www.ubelong.org
- @WorkingTravellr: First hand experiences- articles by bloggers who volunteered
- @Intrepid_Travel: Blogs that talk about local projects are a great place to start – can get candid info and check the comments
- @connvoyage: http://Idealist.org for a START. Must do own research too
- @DaniellaVeras: Check out http://volunteermatch.org
- @Trent_Blomfield: http://www.volunteersouthamerica.net/ for free or low cost volunteer groups in South America
- @Em30b430: I’d recommend deciding where you want to go first and then doing searches for organisations. Most small charities do own advertising
And there you have it, “Voluntourism – Impact or Impossible.”
Next week’s #TTOT topic is: “Travel Buddies!” Submit your questions HERE!
See you Tuesday at 9:30am and 9:30pm GMT for the next #TTOT!
Have YOU got anything to add to the “Voluntourism – Impact or Impossible” discussion?
© Connie Hum 2012