General Article A volunteer's perspective on the growth in 'voluntourism'

Topic Selected: Travel and Tourism
This article is 9 years old. Click here to view the latest articles for this topic.

However, for a volunteer like Rebecca Boteler, volunteering abroad with the right motivation and organisation makes the experience infinitely worthwhile.
Despite long hours, challenging working conditions and no pay, Rebecca found it hugely rewarding to teach English in Cambodia.
‘After zipping around the world a couple of times over the years, I’d had enough of sitting by pools sipping cocktails with those cute little umbrellas in them. I wanted to be a part of the communities I was in and help to make them better places.’
While Rebecca recognises the diverse range of people who volunteer, on a recent trip to a conservation project in Thailand she was struck by the number and commitment of gap year volunteers.
‘I was surprised by their level of dedication to the animals and their ability to tough it out in rough conditions without complaining.’
Though Rebecca has harboured doubts as to the benefits of the growth in ‘voluntourism’ she concludes that ethical volunteer organisations make t...

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