Is volunteering ethical?

Dan Mew

Some argue that volunteering overseas can do more harm than good, as volunteer providers neglect the needs of the local community and fail to create long-term change.

So, how can you make sure that you volunteer responsibly?

Choose a travel company that shows commitment to ethical volunteering. Look out for their responsible tourism policy and goals towards sustainable community development.

Working in partnership and being led by host communities on planning and decision-making is fundamental in enabling them to grow and develop.

It is important that volunteer programmes bring clear, tangible benefits to both the host and the volunteer and this can be evidenced by the impact made at partner projects.

Is volunteering ethical?

Ethical volunteering involves:

Meaningful partnerships

A responsible organisation works in partnership with the local community, responding to existing needs and never working where they are not wanted.

Supporting the community

Volunteer providers should employ local people, who will be the best for the job, wherever possible, and never replace local expertise with volunteers.

Sustainable change

Sustainability should be the focal point of volunteering, with volunteers contributing to long-term goals that will have a real impact on the community.

Is volunteering ethical?

At African Adventures, we believe a responsible, sustainable approach to volunteering is vital to everything we do. Find out more about our programmes.