The Pandemic Changed The World Of ‘Voluntourism.’ Some Folks Like The New Way Better

“Not all volunteer programs are the same. In the world of international volunteerism, there are two kinds of gigs. One is volunteering with development programs, such as the Peace Corps in the U.S. and Voluntary Service Overseas in the U.K. These groups, often funded with government aid, assign volunteers to long-term projects around the world — a year or two or more working at a school in Malawi, for example, or supporting helping small business owners in India. Such programs typically provide the volunteers with basic accommodation and a modest allowance for food and other living expenses.

Then there’s volunteer tourism — nicknamed “voluntourism” by academics. People pay to take part in shorter-term projects abroad, which can range from tutoring kids in Nepal for a week to spending a few months conducting nutrition workshops in Thailand to traveling with a church mission group to the Philippines to dig wells. Volunteers must pay for their journey, including flights and transportation, meals and lodging as well as fees to the organizations and the programs they support.”

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