Posts categorized under Lessons Learned

14 October 2009 ~ 6 Comments

Questions for Your Voluntourism Operator

I wrote a guest blog post for Canada’s adventure couple, Dave and Deb about voluntourism, why I work, in part, in this field, and some ideas for how we can improve what we do. For those who don’t have time to read the whole post, here are the five key areas I would consider when […]

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11 October 2009 ~ 1 Comment

A love of reading

I saw this as my friend Jordan’s status on his gmail account today: “Today, educational funding favors programs that teach kids how to read, rather than why to read.” and i wanted to pass it on because it relates a lot to the work PEPY is doing.  When we decided to partner with a […]

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05 October 2009 ~ 6 Comments

The Social Venture “Scalability” Model

Are there any “scalable” & profitable social ventures?  There is talk of “social ventures” being our saviors from the likes of the non-profit world.  Do they REALLY exist?  Or are they mostly hybrid models which still rely heavily on their non-profit arms in order to succeed at scale? It is VERY hard to find examples […]

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05 October 2009 ~ 54 Comments

A Protest Against Orphanage Tourism

I try to avoid spending much time on “bar street”, a place in Siem Reap which is full of, yep, bars.  The main reasons I avoid it now are no longer just the noise, the embarrassing displays of lack-of-clothing on gap-year tourists, the drunken fools, nor the begging, though those reasons alone should be enough…. […]

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30 September 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Are PEPY Programs “Sustainable”? Part 1 of 2

What is this “sustainability” thing all about?  It is a word that gets thrown around so often by NGOs, donors, and most people working in development, yet what is means in the reality of our day to day decisions is less often understood.  I wrote part one of a two part look at PEPY and […]

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02 September 2009 ~ 10 Comments


Enough stamping our feet about what isn’t working in voluntourism! This site was an idea for something we needed when we were searching for resources on how to improve our volunteer travel offerings at PEPY Tours. We knew that we couldn’t be  our own auditor and needed an outside resource or body to help us […]

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26 August 2009 ~ 2 Comments

Lesson Learned: Why we shouldn’t give things away (or sell them for cheaper than they really are!)

I just read this post “9 Reasons Not To Give Things Away” and I agree with it. It relates back to my earlier post discussing how a group working in the same area as us in Cambodia subsidized water filters and thereby destroyed the market for the product (and negatively effected water filter use/health). I […]

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