"What I have discovered over the years is that the most powerful form of promoting what you do is via those who are most passionate about what you do. Here is an example:
In the latest issue of The VolunTourist Newsletter, two members of the Kugler Family - Eileen and Larry - discuss their two voluntourism trips to South Africa in an article entitled “A Piece of Our Hearts Will Always Be In South Africa.” Not only do they share details of their experiences, you will also note the following reference to the entities who facilitated and coordinated their connection to the local communities:
Researching volunteer programs on the web, we found UK-based People & Places and knew this was the group we wanted to work with. We shared a commitment to sustainable change, not just a fun volunteer experience. After identifying the volunteer program within South Africa that was a best fit, we were introduced to Calabash Tours, based in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. We have been incredibly impressed with both these ethical, well-organized, and well-run companies.”
In my opinion, this type of recognition cannot be equaled by any amount of search engine optimization (SEO), “tweets,” “facebook posts,” blog entries - nada. And if you look at the bios for Eileen and Larry, which appear at the end of the article, it is most difficult to question their credibility or think that this has any semblance to being a ‘plug’ for either People & Places or Calabash Tours. The Kuglers simply had an amazing experience and they have taken the time to share that amazing experience in the hopes that others may likewise follow in their footsteps.
Additionally, individuals considering a voluntourism trip to South Africa could very easily reach out to the Kuglers with other questions or to hear a firsthand account of their experience. No entity can ‘purchase’ this kind of exposure; it is truly invaluable. Word-Of-Mouth is the most important promotional vehicle for voluntourism. I cannot iterate or reiterate this enough."