The importance of responsible volunteering

Dan Mew

With the rapid expansion and diversification of the volunteer travel industry, it is important as an organisation to be committed to sustainable best practice and working with ethical practices. The United Nations declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and as a provider of volunteer travel we believe this is important.

As a leading volunteer travel company, we put great value on responsible volunteering and it is a fundamental focus of our work. Working in partnership with our host communities and being led by them on planning and decision-making is vital in enabling the projects to grow and develop.

At African Adventures, we are passionate about delivering volunteer programmes that bring clear tangible benefits to both the host and the volunteer.

We believe that responsible volunteering brings many benefits.

Responsible volunteering:
  • Minimises negative economic, environmental and social impacts.
  • Generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities, improves working conditions and access to the industry.
  • Involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances.
  • Makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage and to the maintenance of the world’s diversity.
  • Provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues.
  • Provides opportunities for people from all social and cultural backgrounds and faiths.
  • Provides access for people with disabilities and the disadvantaged.
  • Is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence.