Friday 22nd of March 2024 – How helping can harm: the problem with voluntourism

Blurb: Volunteering abroad has become hugely popular over the last 30 years. Whether as a rite of passage for young people on a gap year, a learning experience for a family while travelling, a career break, or a retirement focus, lending a hand in a low-income communities
overseas has become a popular and much-lauded activity for those who can afford to do so.
However, much of this $3-billion a year industry is geared around the experience for the
buyer, not the impact on the communities involved. At its worst, voluntourism can be hugely
exploitative; worsening inequalities, and creating new social issues. This talk, grounded in
real-life experience and extensive global research, seeks to challenge conceptions of “giving
back” and “doing good” in other countries and argues that good intentions are not enough.
Speaker: Anna McKeon was old enough to know better when she volunteered abroad for
the first time at an orphanage in Kenya. Changed by her experience, she then spent 6 years
living in South East Asia, and worked with organisations such as Save the Children and
UNICEF to lead a global campaign against voluntourism practices. Anna also led
experiential leadership courses in the region, facilitating learning for adults and young people
on international development. Anna is currently the Director of Capability Building at the
International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, the global alliance for eye health
organisations, supporting sustainable social change through leadership initiatives.

The venue:
The Elephant And Castle
White Hill

They are £5 and you can purchase them on the door or about a week before at the venue. Please note that the capacity of the venue is limited, we recommend buying the ticket in advance to avoid disappointment.

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