what is responsible volunteering?
We promote responsible volunteering, but what do we mean by this?
The most effective volunteers work with and learn from the community, showing them respect, helping them carry out their own objectives, offering advice and encouragement, and increasing their capacity to develop their own futures. Volunteers should be a positive presence, a source of inspiration and empowerment. Outsiders who impose their own cultural norms or their own agenda, and fail to include local people in decisions, can leave behind disruption and even destruction, and more problems than they solve, making life even tougher for economically poor people.
Responsible volunteering requires us to be particularly careful when working with more vulnerable people, particularly children. Read more here
Our programme is set up to give you the tools you need to become as responsible a volunteer as possible. You will be supported both before and during your placement by our local partners who work closely with local people and are aware of what is and is not appropriate – they will provide all necessary support and information and simply will not permit volunteer placements to have negative results. Through our matching and preparation process you will be prepared as thoroughly as possible for life in the country where you will be volunteering. You will be encouraged to do your research and ask questions
, both of us and of previous volunteers, and after your placement has finished the debriefing process enables us to follow up on any questions or concerns you may have raised.
Volunteering can sometimes be messy and frustrating - for your placement to be a success, you need to be clear about why you are there -
respect the local people
expect the unexpected
observe without judging
learn as much as possible before you go
remember you are a guest, and will leave
share some of your knowledge with the local people and add some of theirs to yours
then this will have been a meaningful experience for you and your hosts.
Expert Tours People and Places Ltd trading as people and places - Company Number 03805796 - Registered in England at: 1 Naboth's Nursery, Canterbury Road, Faversham, Kent ME13 8AX