Great article responding to WTM Responsible Volunteering debate

Here’s a really interesting article by Catherine Mack about the debate that took place at World Travel Market in November 2012 with a great call to action to get the responsible volunteering message to go viral. Raising awareness of the kind of issues discussed at WTM is vital so that potential volunteers can make informed decisions when selecting a project or placement and the needs of communities will be prioritised by sending organisations.

I also really like Sallie Grayson’s comment about highlighting positive stories – there are a lot of sweeping statements and negative views about types of volunteering e.g. when you hear that a 2 week volunteering project can have no impact, when actually there are many positive stories from individual volunteers that show the benefits of all kinds of placements (and not just how much the volunteer gained from the experience but how communities in developing countries benefited).


About natashastein

I'm interested in travel, learning about other countries and cultures, responsible tourism, environmental issues and wildlife. I like being outdoors and beautiful scenery can really move me and reinvigorate me. I enjoy walking and am planning to get a rescue dog to keep me company on my strolls. I also love to write stuff. I've set up my own website (, written blogs on topics I'm interested in and written various articles about volunteering overseas. I've always enjoyed writing in my previous jobs. I'm a bit of a creative all rounder - I can draw and make things. It's something I'd like to do more of! I love art and photography and go to exhibitions when I can. I am currently teaching English as a second language in Worcestershire, where I live. I have an eclectic career story. My professional background is in travel and tourism and the charity sector. I have worked for a major holiday company, specialist tour operator and coordinated a University alumni travel programme. Most recently I've worked for a Destination Management Organisation and local government tourism department focusing on promoting the Cotswolds primarily via social media. I also worked for VSO, the international development volunteering charity for 6 years as a Volunteer and Placement Adviser and have done bits and bobs of volunteering with different charities.
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