How will you make your contribution?
Making a Positive Contribution
'Doing good' can be more complicated than you think.
Sometimes, in an effort to help people we take away their power to help themselves. Even with the best of intentions, volunteering can reinforce stereotypes of ‘us’ and ‘them’, take jobs away from local people, create dependency on charity, and at its worst, it can be exploitative.
It’s essential that you choose a volunteer placement that puts equality and respect at the centre of your work.
So, how can you do good in the world? We recommend making mindful choices about where you dedicate your time and resources, and taking the time to understand where your efforts are really needed. Watch the below video to find out more about taking a mindful approach to international volunteering.
- Barbie Saviour challenges the way that some people perceive volunteer and development work in Africa.
- See Comhlamh’s 'What Next?' toolkit for ideas on staying involved in causes you are about after returning home from your placement.
- Re-Think Orphanages is a cross-sector network that provides videos, articles and resources to shift the way Australia engages with overseas aid and development.
- 'Why Say No' is a useful resource that explains how and why volunteering in orphanages is damaging to children and communities.
- ACFID (Australian Council for International Development) have a great guide that further outlines Responsible International Volunteering for for Development.
Take some time to look at some of the following resources, and get informed before you volunteer overseas.