VOLUNTEER TOURISM: MAKING A DIFFERENCE
A panel discussion presented by the NY Salon and the Association of American Geographers.
Volunteer tourism has become a staple for significant numbers of aspirant young people in the developed economies. Traveling abroad, doing good work, working to improve the environment or on development projects, is seen by some as a right-of-passage toward global citizenship. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and companies promote the transformative possibilities of good deeds at home and abroad, both for the places visited and for the ‘voluntourists’ seeking to make a difference on their travels.
But what does the growth of volunteering at home and abroad tell us about people’s aspirations to act upon their world in the 21st century? How has volunteering changed since the origins of the Peace Corps and UK-based VSO in the 1950s? Where does development fit in to the worldview of the modern volunteer? What impact does volunteer tourism have upon the host countries?
Panelists Dr Jim Butcher, Canterbury Christ Church University, U.K., and Dr Peter Smith, St. Mary’s University College London, U.K. will discuss ideas from their forthcoming book, Making a Difference: Gap Years, Volunteers and Development. For non-delegates to the conference there will be an entrance fee of $15/$10 (concessions) for this event payable on the door. For more information please contact Jean Smith.