01 May 2013 ~ 1 Comment

BBC Four Thought Talk

I was lucky to be invited to do a BBC Four Thought Talk which was recorded a few weeks ago and will air tonight (8:45pm UK Time). The first draft of the talk was about 9000 words, which I cut down to a 3000 word radio talk, and then was boiled down to a 1000 word BBC New article that is therefor a watered down version of my thoughts but which you can read here if you like:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22294205

There are a ton of comments on it already…. clearly this is a nuanced issue – where certainly not all “voluntourism” is good, but just as certainly, not all of it is horrible. I do advocate for a “guilty until proven innocent” approach to donating time and money to non-profits, as I feel that generally there isn’t enough research going into the donation or volunteer travel decision making, but that doesn’t mean I think all NGOs are bad. I just think that, if you have good intentions and you want to do go, it is really important to then do research to make sure your time and money are indeed being used as a force for positive change, rather than the opposite!

If you want the LONG version of my thoughts (and those of the other three co-authors), the Learning Service team and I are working on a book, designed to help people more effectively navigate their decisions when considering volunteering overseas.  Our Indiegogo campaign is live here, if you want to pass it on!  Thanks!

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/improving-volunteer-travel-through-education?c=home

Tune in tonight for the talk, if you are interested!

  • http://twitter.com/GlobalCitizenYr Global Citizen Year

    Daniela — You touch upon some really interesting points in your article. This issue clearly resonates with quite a few people.

    One of the most important underlying points you make is that “young people [don't] need more fabricated opportunities to “serve” but rather opportunities to learn how to better contribute their time and money in the future.”

    Global Citizen Year works to embody that very idea by way of a learning-oriented bridge year between high school and college. Our program is eight months long — complete with full immersion into a local community, intensive language learning, and a six month homestay experience — with the goal of providing our Fellows with the necessary exposure to the developing world to then go on to college as effective leaders with a shrewd eye for finding impactful, meaningful work.

    We’re looking forward to the release of your book! Sounds like it might fit nicely into our curriculum :)

    -Bobby Murphy