Having been involved in the volunteer industry for a while, the good, bad and downright ugly issues and discussions surrounding it, fascinate me. It is a controversial topic with people often focusing on either the positives or negatives of volunteering and voluntourism.
Before I get into the topic, I am going to address the two terms that are often interlinked and used interchangeably. By definition;
Volunteering is the act of giving up your time to support others less fortunate; something that is done at, or at least close to, home.
Voluntourism is the combination of volunteering and tourism; people acting as global citizens as part of a global community, giving their time to support others less fortunate. It involves travelling somewhere new to volunteer your time.