Volunteering, Volunteering in developing countries

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Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity and is intended to promote goodness or improve human quality of life. In return, this activity can produce a feeling of self-worth and respect. There is no financial gain involved for the individual. Volunteering is also renowned for skill development, socialization, and fun. It is also intended to make contacts for possible employment. It is helping, assisting, or serving another person or persons without pay.


An increasingly popular form of volunteering among young people, particularly gap year students, is to travel to communities in the developing world to work on projects. Activities include teaching English, working in orphanages, conservation, and so on. International volunteering is said to give participants valuable skills, knowledge, and the experience of a lifetime. However, "voluntourism" has been criticized by some as being paternalistic and reinforcing historic power imbalances. Some critics argue that in many cases, voluntourism does more harm to communities than good. However, voluntourism is also beneficial when people do not bear the idea of being a "savior" and who strive to understand and appreciate the local culture. Long-term voluntourist programs like “Let Haiti Live” benefit the Haitian community through its desire to empower the Haitian community and teach them valuable life skills.

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External Links

  • WikipediaVolunteerism and legislation: a Guidance Note

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