An interesting article and research study on why people volunteer on their gap year from Becky Khalil on the gapyear.com website. Although her findings aren’t particulary different from other studies on motivation of volunteers, it is useful to see this kind of research. I would now like to see more research on impacts of volunteers on the communities and projects where they do their placement.
Although atruism is one motivating factor, predominantly people are undertaking volunteering for personal gain and self-fulfilment. However ultimately they are finding the experience highly enriching and “life-changing”, leading to more altruistic behaviour in the future, for example influencing career choice towards working in the international development sector.