Ignore the cynics, charity schemes do great work and can benefit both the volunteers and the communities they serve
The debate about "voluntourism" - that unsightly word - has reared its cynical head yet again. Every so often the spotlight is turned on western students using their free time to help those less fortunate in developing countries, and much head-scratching and soul-searching ensues.
Recently the Guardian published a piece by Somalian blogger Ossob Mohamud, with the headline Beware the 'voluntourists' doing good. She argues that the west is turning the developing world into "a playground" for the rich to "assuage the guilt of their privilege".[view whole blog post ]