Volunteering while travelling is a unique and eye-opening experience. But as the popularity for travel volunteering has risen, so too have the companies which profit from encouraging voluntourism. Voluntourism is when an organization advertises its business through humanitarian trips, often making large profits off of well meaning tourists but not actually making real changes in the communities it supposedly helps.
Make sure to research the organizations you are volunteering and travelling with. If a volunteer programme is to be of value to a local community it should work with, rather than be imposed on, that community.
An excellent sign is when programmes have been built in collaboration with local partner organizations. The project partners are involved in the day to day management of the project, and are consulted in the building of the project to make sure the project is of value. A working relationship with those in the local community demonstrates that the company’s presence is welcomed and impactful, and community involvement will encourage and support project sustainability.
At Lattitude we firstly build a good relationship with our host organizations and discuss their needs to arrange placements. We then take the time to talk to you in depth about your interests, hobbies and previous work experience. This way we can match volunteers to the host needs!