VOLONTOURISM

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Why "Voluntourism" Matters

A young American named Pippa Biddle wrote a piece criticizing "voluntourism" that went viral. Though I agree with much of what she says, I think Biddle is missing one essential point. The mature and thoughtful attitude she has developed on this topic is a direct result of the experiences she has had through her volunteer work overseas. Without her fumbling efforts overseas, she would never have gained the wisdom to support development in the south in a way that does not reinforce the systemic imbalance of power and privilege that is so much a part of our well-intentioned efforts to help.