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Voluntourism (Tips & Advice)

Learn the truth about voluntourism and a better alternative to make a difference to children and families in need. Read our top tips & advice today.

Volunteer tourism, also known as voluntourism is a developing trend that’s linked to doing good. And while many volunteer tourism opportunities have been developed with good intentions, the short-term and long-term impact on children and their communities can be negative.

Save the Children doesn’t support or provide voluntourism opportunities because of the damaging impact voluntourism can have on local economies. Voluntourism has also been linked to child exploitation and abuse.

The Truth About Volunteer Tourism

When volunteer tourism began, it seemed like the perfect solution. Travel overseas to volunteer tourism destinations you’ve always wanted to visit and connect and contribute to the community. The types of voluntourism include educational, conservation, small business development, child welfare, animal protection and women’s empowerment. Having a desire to help others is admirable, but volunteer tourism can have the opposite effect. Voluntourism criticism includes:
  • Local and skilled workers being unable to get employment
  • Organisations or individuals not abiding by essential child protection practices
  • Contributing to an orphanage tourism trade.

A Better Alternative To Voluntourism

If you’ve been travelling and have seen first-hand communities that need assistance, it’s natural to want to help. A good start is to make a regular monthly donation to an organisation like Save the Children who is a member of the ReThink Orphanages network. This network was established to stop the situation where up to 80% of children in orphanages have a family who could be caring for them.

About Our Aid Programs

As a secular and independent children’s charity, you get peace of mind that for every 1 dollar donated, 73 cents go directly towards funding our education and child protection support programs. We conduct all our activities legally and ethically in line and deliver all programs and activities with transparency and accountability.

Another way to support our work is to volunteer your time in Australia to help us achieve three major breakthroughs for children:
  • That no child dies from preventable causes before their 5th birthday
  • That all children are safe with no violence against children tolerated
  • That every child gets access to a basic quality education
Save the Children aid and development programs reach children in the most dangerous humanitarian emergencies throughout Australia, South East and South-Central Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Pacific.

Read Top Tips on How to Volunteer Responsibly

Find out how to volunteer responsibly with our top tips that include asking if there’s a participation fee and how the community will benefit from your work.

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