Voluntourism Philippines.

Some Do’s and Don’ts in Voluntourism

Voluntourism allows participants to meld traveling and community service. It can be a fulfilling experience, one that leads participants to meet new people, discover a foreign culture, and contribute to community building.

Volunteer work is never boring!
Good intentions are notable but voluntourists must also have a concrete plan in undertaking this kind of activity. Preparing well can go a long way and will benefit not just the volunteer but also the target beneficiaries.

Here are some things to consider before booking that social cause.

Do your research. Just like any seasoned traveler, allot time to read blogs or articles that talk about the organization that you want to sign up with. If possible, interview individuals who have joined the organization to know the score. 

Do decide if you want to pursue a domestic or an international trip. If you plan to go abroad, research on the country to learn about the fees and other needed documents. Some organizations require volunteers to have a travel insurance. For local expeditions, read about the community to know the requirements and how to connect with key contacts. 

Whether embarking on a local or an international trip, one of the benefits of voluntourism is meeting like-minded people.
Do plan an excursion that reflects your interests and competencies. There are organizations that are in need of individuals with key skills. Tell your partner organization about your abilities and interests beforehand so that they have an idea how to make your trip more relevant.

Do maximize the use of technology. According to organization founders and facilitators, most volunteers get in touch with them through email or Facebook.

Do a pre-trip orientation with your contact. Anticipation is a traveler’s best friend. Ask questions about the social norms like language, appropriate clothing, or other cultural practices. Another thing to consider is your lodging. Some organizations do not have centers where volunteers can take shelter. In that case, you can ask for their help in securing your food and accommodation.

Do immerse yourself. One of the many blessings of voluntourism is knowing a new culture and meeting new friends. Sit down with the locals to know the community’s needs.
Voluntourism is one way to explore a new culture. Tribal dancers from the Panay Bukidnon of Iloilo do a performance using traditional moves.
Don’t make hasty decisions without consulting your host organization. Talk to your immediate contact about your needs and thoughts. They are responsible for your well-being so there is a need to maintain clear communication throughout your stay.

Don’t forget to share the joy of voluntourism with others. Involve your friends and loved ones in these life-changing expeditions. Send photos or write about your trip to engage them.
Get creative with your shots for voluntourism souvenirs. A volunteer arranges slippers donated by TREK to create a ground artwork.
Whatever cause you decide to take, it is always good to remember that voluntourism is not about personal gain but about inspiring change in the community that you decide to help.
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