Volunteer tourism encourages people to travel with a cause. This cause can be an act of social responsibility. It is nothing but the same trip you would go on with respect to your duties regarding nature and its components. It includes analyzing your skills, energy and time to work for any specific environmental or human issues. Helping the poverty attacked people, nature, animal conservation etc.
Exploring volunteer tourism destinations is a new way of travelling which refreshes us while we serve a cause too.
Volunteer tourism can be categorized into different types:
Animal conservation has increasingly become an important practice due to the negative effects of human activities on nature and wildlife. Volunteering with animals is an amazing travel experience while also helping local animals and wildlife in need. Planned by animal lovers, and natural conservatism, the act of responsibility behind taking up volunteer tourism is centred on educating people about the endangered animals and protects mother earth from depletion.
Waste Minimalism is a practice which intends to reduce the amount of waste produced. Generally, people who volunteer for this cause focus on 3Rs and educate people to Recycle, Reuse and Reserve. While you travel, you can lead an example by using reusable containers, eco-friendly toiletries, utilizing public transports etc.
Nature Conservation: It is not restrained to fauna and flora conservation but it also encourages social, socio-economic, and ethical issues. Volunteering in biodiversity and other natural resource management programs is very popular amongst the youth living in the hills.
Volunteer Tourism can be subdivided into more types:
Philanthropy: Promoting the welfare of the people by dispensing funds for humanitarian purposes. It is a selfless notion which is characterized by helping others without wanting any returns.
Service Learning: Studying and analyzing community needs and helping them accordingly. It is an educational approach towards community services.
Community Service: Meeting with the needs of the public in person. This includes providing food and shelter for the homeless and homebound people. Collecting information about the needs of the public for their interest and welfare. Promoting students for their education or employment, bringing out the talents in them on an appreciable level for global development.
Volunteer tourism is not a synonym to charity but it focuses on eliminating the suffering behind the cause which leads to social and environmental problems. True service begins as a way of life. There is so much deprivation all around, to do a bit for the society individually and collectively would bring a whole lot of change to those lives which are deprived of basic needs.
If you are planning to volunteer abroad, then there is no shortage of Voluntourism destinations which provide an opportunity for the dedicated and enthusiast people willing to work for other’s welfare. Different countries specialize in various volunteer projects. Perhaps if you have certain skills or willingness then that naturally attracts you to a particular location. People and Countries have encouraged Volunteer Tourism since the beginning as this is all about travelling for people by the people and towards the betterment of the people.
Volunteer Tourism is definitely beneficial for people in two ways:
- It satisfies the wanderer inside you who looks forward to exploring various destinations.
- It also serves the society and takes it towards its growth.
Negative impacts of Volunteer Tourism:
Choosing Volunteer tourism or travelling to Volunteer Tourism Destination can be the toughest challenge faced by a novice or interns in the industry. One wrong decision can make you repent over the same for a lifetime. They should be really careful before they take up any such trip for a cause and ask them the following questions. In case they get satisfactory answers to all of them, then only they can go ahead with the decision.
- Do you have sufficient training? Travelling without proper training can put your life at risk, hence understand the same and go for sensitive and planned Volunteer Tourism.
- Are you aware of facts regarding the destination? One should be prepared with geographical info, the challenges which can be posed and the solutions to travel before undertaking a particular journey. Failing this can turn the travel for cause trip to one where you travelled for loss.
The bottom line is, volunteer tourism is still unexplored hence do it with a passion but do apply your brains. Plan your next trip as a Volunteer tourist and feel the bliss and harmony which you get by serving people in need on time.
Read more: A personal account of volunteer tourism in Thailand