U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-25-2019, 04:01 PM
 
Location: On the road
5,922 posts, read 2,883,413 times
Reputation: 11308

Advertisements

We started touching on this in another thread and I think it makes for an interesting topic on it's own.

Curious opinions of others on here about programs where folks travel to developing countries to volunteer in some sort of labor aspect to help the community. Is the money for them to fly there better just spent hiring someone local who can do this labor? One could argue a $600 round trip airfare could buy a lot of labor hours in some areas and the money going into their pockets would go back into the community instead of to an airline. I don't think that's always the case since the labor could be specialized enough, medical comes to mind right away obviously a trained doctor/RN is a lot different than someone who's pounding nails to help frame a house.

There are also lots of programs where people volunteer and pay a fee. We've met quite a few folks over the years doing stuff like this, everything from animal sanctuaries (elephants are the most popular but also gibbons, big cats, butterflies) to working with orphans. It's another case where one could argue the airfare and fee they are paying could easily hire someone local, but again depends. For example if that person working with orphans is teaching them English it's probably not something they could easily hire locally at same level. Same with medical volunteers as mentioned above, even a vet going to work with animals.

GoFundMe has tons of campaigns for people wanting thousands of dollars so they can spend a few weeks helping. I'd assume their hearts are in the right place, but does it really make practical sense when the majority of that money is going to a airline?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-25-2019, 05:34 PM
 
2,066 posts, read 699,344 times
Reputation: 5311
Read the book "Toxic Charity" for a start. In general it's a very bad idea. Now, there is some good "charitable tourism"- a guy at my church goes on mission trips to Haiti once a year with teams of doctors and dentists, donated meds, etc. Since they return to the same place they know the locals and what they need. But- in most cases, the "work" is busy work by unskilled people that has to be redone. Worse, there are now orphanages that pander to well-meaning people from wealthy countries. Few of the kids are actual orphans and the people who run them make a fortune from the donations of volunteers who just come for a few days, cuddle the kids, maybe watch them perform a few cute songs and dances and then leave. The BBC recently did this report on orphanages in Uganda, which I listened to in podcast form.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3cswf64

I'd be very wary of thinking I was doing $3,000 worth of good by spending $3,000 or more to go to some exotic place and do unskilled work.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-25-2019, 06:20 PM
 
10,066 posts, read 4,015,956 times
Reputation: 25477
There is a human drive to be useful, and do good, and make a positive impact.

(Of course, this isn't true in all humans - the saying is, if you can't leave a positive mark on the community, you at least want to leave a memorable ugly stain).

There are many philanthropic efforts that actually hinder a population. Those Toms shoes are a classic example. You buy a pair of really cheap, ugly, awful shoes and Toms sends a pair to a third world country. Problem is, that puts the cobblers there out of work, and they're really awful shoes that aren't good for your feet or knees or back.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-25-2019, 06:37 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,537 posts, read 39,914,033 times
Reputation: 23634
Good opportunity to bash others (some worthy, some not.), especially if your view / comfort / security / guilt is in doing so (That is definitely the EZ road! Many are those who take it! )

Rather than espousing a "helping / encouraging / servant mentality".

Sure there are scams (everywhere in life), even (especially) in leadership . But... there are many legit people who have purposely and invaluably given their life and funds to charity. Right or wrong? Who am I to determine that for SOMEONE else

Thank goodness for the millions who do good!

Note BG's comments this week?
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/bill-...121300436.html

Fortunately, I have (2) immediate family who professionally assist him (them) in being able to do so! (So I can perceive with a level of confidence... his and her's BMG 'intentional generosity to the betterment and service others and the world conditions). and... NO they don't HAVE to do this! none of us do!

Truly if someone (anyone) is pursuing this.. Well done. Have at it tiger!

My own employer presented "community" and service as a core value and I was fully on-board at age 17 (As I had been through my grandparents a decade earlier). Tho very busy, very poor farmers... they always gave their Saturdays to helping neighbors, shut-ins, widows.

Next time you find yourself in Portland (or Seattle) on a rainy day (200+ / yr) ..., go visit "Real Life" exhibits https://www.medicalteams.org/

We really should consider OPPORTUNITIES for all. Being a C-D official grump / nay-sayer (I'm best and I KNOW what is best for YOU!) is of limited value, and tough on health and wellbeing. But it is the VERY ez path... many are those who take it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-25-2019, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
4,364 posts, read 1,657,079 times
Reputation: 7925
Most Ive heard about were for-profit tout companies selling the same packaged tour for the same price, but instead of taking you to to a beach, they take you village to weed gardens or paint the school or count snails.

The people I've met were paying more for their trip than I was for mine.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-25-2019, 08:00 PM
 
Location: On the road
5,922 posts, read 2,883,413 times
Reputation: 11308
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Good opportunity to bash others
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Being a C-D official grump / nay-sayer (I'm best and I KNOW what is best for YOU!) is of limited value
Maybe you shouldn't be clicking on these threads if people expressing their opinions about something gets you so irrationally upset?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-26-2019, 04:25 AM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
4,364 posts, read 1,657,079 times
Reputation: 7925
Maybe there is niche you to fill as an entrepreneur. Set up local agencies that will arrange volunteer work by the day, for people who are already traveling in-country. Every hostel has several travelers sitting around all day with nothing to do.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-26-2019, 05:55 AM
 
Location: northern New England
2,436 posts, read 1,057,100 times
Reputation: 9497
I donate to a small orphanage in Africa. The way I found out about it was, someone from my area was volunteering there and looking for donations of clothing etc. for the kids.


I could volunteer there but I feel the money is better spent by me sending it to the organization itself. I happen to like this organization because there is an emphasis on, and success at, reuniting the kids with their birth families ASAP.


People who have mad skills that are needed in another country, go for it. Me - no mad skills, I do volunteer at home here and I feel I am serving a purpose.
__________________
Moderator posts will always be Red and can only be discussed via Direct Message.
C-D Home page, TOS (Terms of Service), How to Search, FAQ's, Posting Guide
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-26-2019, 06:33 AM
 
2,066 posts, read 699,344 times
Reputation: 5311
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTsnowbird View Post
I donate to a small orphanage in Africa. The way I found out about it was, someone from my area was volunteering there and looking for donations of clothing etc. for the kids.

I could volunteer there but I feel the money is better spent by me sending it to the organization itself. I happen to like this organization because there is an emphasis on, and success at, reuniting the kids with their birth families ASAP.

People who have mad skills that are needed in another country, go for it. Me - no mad skills, I do volunteer at home here and I feel I am serving a purpose.
I agree. Your last sentence reminded me of Doctors without Borders. They could do a ton with what people spend on plane far for feel-good projects.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-26-2019, 06:41 AM
 
Location: On the road
5,922 posts, read 2,883,413 times
Reputation: 11308
Yep. When we were living in Guatemala there was a group of docs & nurses from USA who would come down and do free outpatient cataract surgery for locals, absolutely changing people's lives at low cost and with low risk. Incredible the impact they could have over occasional short stints.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top