Posts categorized under NGOs

16 February 2011 ~ 5 Comments

The Would-Be-Donor and Budding-Do-Gooder’s Code of Conduct

Yesterday I posted a piece which has gotten a lot of attention that is questioning our human tendency to focus on the hero story rather than the impact of development work. My complaints are not so useful if I don’t consider giving alternative options … so here we go. Here are some of my take-aways […]

Continue Reading

15 February 2011 ~ 101 Comments

The Dangers of Hero Worshiping (in the Social Sector)

I heard a disturbing story this week. A friend who works in Battambang, a northwestern province of Cambodia, told me that she had recently met a young traveler from Australia in her late teens who said she was starting an orphanage. When asked why she came to Cambodia, she said: “I was so inspired by […]

Continue Reading

27 October 2010 ~ 7 Comments

Investing in People

We want to know that our money went to “the right place”. We have been taught to be fearful that our donations might aid corruption or not be used in the way we had intended. As such, it’s easier for us to build buildings than invest time in people through things like trainings & education […]

Continue Reading

11 September 2010 ~ 2 Comments

How do I know if I’m going to add value in my volunteer placement?

Last week I wrote a blog post complaining about volunteer sending organizations trying to “sell” their 17 year old volunteers to NGO organizations.  I then got a very well thought out response from 16 year old Naya Herman who is considering volunteering abroad and so I decided to answer her two questions in two new […]

Continue Reading

01 September 2010 ~ 85 Comments

Do not ask me if your 17 year-olds can get paid to “volunteer” with us

UGH! I am SO fed up with these “pay to volunteer” organizations making money and taking in young gap-year kids and then “offering” them to us as employees where we “only need to cover their living expenses.”  REALLY?  You want me to take your unskilled 17 year-old, play babysitter for a few months as they […]

Continue Reading

05 August 2010 ~ 31 Comments

How do YOU define “Responsible Travel”?

I recently wrote a piece about PEPY Tours on World Nomad’s website.  I am reposting it below as it relates to a lot of the themes of this blog: Responsible Giving, voluntourism, Cambodia, etc Fast Five Profile: PEPY Tours One of the PEPY riders on her bike for Cambodian based PEPY Tours 1. Who are […]

Continue Reading

26 February 2010 ~ 2 Comments

Metric Machines

I just added some thoughts on the Social Edge discussion about about the Fetishization of Metrics.  Add yours there as well! —- The more we focus on metrics, the less human we become. We focus on metrics to allow us to not personally interact with a problem and yet still try to “understand” it. The […]

Continue Reading