Voluntourism in Cape Town - the full report

GoTanzania was involved in the voluntourism research project in Cape Town last february. The final report, written bij GoTanzania's Niko Winkel, is now online on the website of Volunteer Correct. 

"To officially end Project Cape Town in style, the Volunteer Correct foundation presents her research report. In order to produce their films and articles, the foundation investigated all offers of voluntourism in Cape Town. Read the full report right away, or read the headlines."
Continue reading on the Volunteer Correct website. 

Vounteering Do's and Don'ts

[March 20, 2015]
International volunteering used to be the domain of aid agencies like the Peace Corps. But in the last 15 years, an entire multi-billion-dollar industry has cropped out to meet the demand of people — mostly young — seeking volunteer experiences overseas. This year, more than 100 thousand Canadians will travel abroad on voluntourism trips.

Here are some things to consider:
Define your purpose, match your skills, vet the organisation, research the community, ask detailed questions about your trip, consider longer stays, support local partners, don't do something the locals can do, don't volunteer at an orphanage, don't forget your priorities!!

Read the whole article on the Canadian Doc Zone.

'Africa doesn't need a saviour, America needs a saviour!'

[January 9, 2015]
Those are the last words of Boniface Mwangi in the short documentary you are able to watch online. This Kenyan was invited by an American university and spoke about the usefulness of volunteering. He acknowledged that he was not very positive about the United States himself: "It might be noble, everything you want to do in Africa, you might mean well. But please, help the people at home first."
Watch the documentary and article on the website of the New York Times.

GoTanzania research: volunteering employment agencies much more expensive

[November 12, 2014]
GoTanzania collected more than 150 organizations that offer volunteer opportunities in Tanzania. These organizations vary from mini-NGO’s to private initiatives to big internationally operating traveling agencies. GoTanzania created a typology of all these organizations. First, there are organizations that offer work at their own location (schools, orphanages, hospitals, etc.). After that, there are organizations that offer volunteer work in a project setting. Thirdly, there are organizations that mediate and sometimes offer their own projects, which they outline on their website. Lastly, there is a section of big international “volunteering agencies.”

We created a scale, from small to big organizations, and from organizations that are at the source of the project to ‘supermarkets’ offering volunteer work. In practice, many other scales are creates like this as well: from individual to collective, from authentic to constructed, from sober to adventure – but without incorporating the costs of such an adventure. And exactly this is important for this scale: from cheap to expensive.

The comparison shows that the last categories, which are used most frequently by volunteers, are significantly more expensive than the other categories. The graph below shows the results of the investigation done by GoTanzania.

The investigation indicates that when you go abroad in order to volunteer for 2 months, and you arrange this trip with the organization that also directly offers the volunteer work (so you are at the source of the project), it will cost you about €1000.
When you apply for a volunteering job at a big international organization, however, you will pay about €2400.
Note: in both cases, we are only talking about food and housing.

Sometimes a financial contribution for the project itself is asked to be made, but this should never mean that volunteering itself gets significantly more expensive!

The conclusion is: big organizations are asking a lot more money than smaller ones. Money that you, as a volunteer, will not (or hardly) see back in the services provided to you.

Let's save Africa! Who wants to be a volunteer?!

[November 10, 2014]
'Let's Save Africa!' is the satirical video's call to action. It opens with a truck stopping abruptly in a grassy area, ostensibly in Africa because Africa is just one big country.

A white, blond girl jumps out with high-calorie food in hand, dressed in a white tank top, shorts and a stylish bandanna. She runs toward an unknown destination and does what every good volunteer does: starts hurling food at hungry mouths.
After a tour in which she teaches children to read, subsequently posting a selfie with them as her Facebook profile picture, the young woman, Lilly, sits down for a game inspired by "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. The final question for the satirical game show "Who Wants to Be a Volunteer" How many countries are in Africa?
Lees het gehele artikel op World.mic.

Watch this hilarious - yet disturbing - video!

Volunteer Correct goes to Cape Town

[November 7, 2014]
The foundation Volunteer Correct presented itself online in September. Volunteer Correct aims to improve transparency and accountability in international volunteering. Its founders are concerned about the quality of volunteer work and its effectiveness, and therefore strive to reach a stage where organizations are held responsible for their approaches and are encouraged to reflect on the effectiveness of their programs.
At the same time Volunteer Correct encourages volunteers to take the responsibility to be well informed when participating in a project.

Volunteer Correct brings this objective in practice with "Project Kaapstad." This media- and researchproject aims to make a good volunteerproject in Cape Town more transparent. In February a team of Volunteer Correct's volunteers will travel to South-Africa for 18 days. The result will be an comprehensive documentary.

Extreme voluntourism

[October 15, 2014]
K21 Adventure, founded by two adventurous mountaineers, offers a combination of 1, 4 or 7 days of safari and 8, 5, or 2 days community service. The community service will be done at a blind school in Moshi (Kilimanjaro). They advertise themselves with words such as: "In addition to seeing the world, K2 Adventure Travel is your connection to doing a world of good".

This week will cost you €3000 when you choose the option of a one-day safari and 8 days as a volunteer. Do you prefer a safari of 7 days, it will be around €5000.

The organization's leader has even climbed the Mount Everest, and his wife climbed the Kilimanjaro with a group of blind people. Adventure!! (Website K2 Adventures)

"We can also arrange your flight?"

[August 1, 2014]
That is what the employee of Projects Abroad asked me when I decided to go to Arusha for three months, in order to participate in one of this organization's "Microfinance Projects." It seemed like a good idea. Great that an organization is willing to help you with this! What a wonderful service!

Yet, by the time I had been in Arusha for 1.5 months, I became aware of the fact that I had been a bit naïve. Other volunteers did not directly take Projects Abroad up on the offer and checked the flight fees themselves. Flights appeared to be hundreds of euros cheaper than the prices Projects Abroad mentioned.
Upon investigating this further, I found out that the organization runs its own travel agency (somewhere in India). The employee responded to my complaint: "I did not tell you that you had  to book with us."
Tip: when you choose for Projects Abroad, please check out the flight fees yourself!
(Niko Winkel)