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A Brief Address on Global Citizenship

Global Citizenship involves the ability to navigate across cultures, to communicate and work well with people of other faiths and political beliefs, to build coalitions and work in teams, to listen and engage broadly, to be empathetic, to use peace-building language, to lead from behind through adaptive challenges, to exercise both humility and initiative by crossing […]

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'You may have youth on your side, but I've got skills and experience on mine.'

Peace Corps (Volunteers) Turn 51: Baby Boomers & the Changing Face of Volunteering Abroad

Baby boomers are still asking ‘What can I do for my country (and my world)?’ and the answer is, probably a lot more than they could when they were twenty. Peace Corps and Bonnie Lee Black have something in common: age. Peace Corps celebrated its 51st anniversary in March this year; Bonnie was 51 when she closed […]

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LinkedIn turns attention to Volunteerism

Survey Says, “Your Volunteer Experience Matters” LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network released the results this morning* of a survey of nearly two thousand professionals in the U.S. and found that 89% have volunteering experience, but only 45% include this on their resumes. This is a mistake according to Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s Connection Director. “Professionals often […]

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Generation X and Volunteerism – nuancing the “hero” status

A couple of days ago I published a graph showing that Gen Xers have increased their rates of volunteerism over the past 5-6 years, while the rates of the Baby Boomers and Millennials decreased. (See full post here.) Being that I am smack in the middle of the Gen X birth range, this was a […]

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Volunteerism and Employment: the surprising relationship

Volunteerism: it’s not a function of spare time! We know that people volunteer when they have both the heart for it and the resources for it, but which resource is more important, time or money? I would have thought that time would be the critical resource. This feels like the case for me anyway – the […]

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Volunteering: The For-Profit vs. Non-Profit Debate Poll

As a background to this poll, please view the comments that followed the Poverty Tourism Taxonomy 2.0 post, in particular those by mikeonpurpose, Randy LeGrant (from GeoVisions) and the Sept. 4 comment by David Week. (And of course, my responses)

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Poverty Tourism Taxonomy 2.0 - by Aaron Ausland

Poverty Tourism Taxonomy 2.0

The ongoing debate on poverty tourism got a paroxysm of blogger attention following the recent NYT op-ed by Kennedy Odede, whose personal experience gave him harsh words for what he called Slumdog Tourism. A good assemblage of recent blogs and articles related to the poverty tourism debate is posted at Good Intentions Are Not Enough. […]

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competent engagement?

A Moderate Elitist

There are some very active ongoing conversations around aid elitism at Tales From the Hood here and here, and at viewfromthecave here and here.  It’s had some spillover with the conversation about poverty tourism here and here. The posts themselves have been fairly moderate, but the comments seem to be driving a troubling polarity into the […]

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Poverty Tourism: A Debate in Need of Typological Nuance

Each year hundreds, if not thousands of short-term volunteers go to all corners of the earth to dig trenches, paint churches, construct latrines, … Each year dozens, if not scores of bloggers aim derision, destain, and disgust at them.

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The Future of Voluntourism

One has to wonder where this leaves vulnerable communities. When making a profit drives business decisions over traditional service values like “do no harm” or community agency, one has to be a bit pessimistic about that the impact of the volunteer service.

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