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Responsible Volunteering
Responsible Volunteering

What is responsible volunteering?

Volunteering can be great and benefit all parties involved but only if it is done in a sustainable way. This is exactly what responsible (or ethical) volunteering is – making sure the focus is on the community and volunteers are working with them (not for them). Doing responsible volunteering means focusing on the long-term benefit and being sure participants are doing good not harming anyone.

  • Preparation is key (having a preparation period before volunteering where volunteers get familiar with the project, understanding the causes of the issues, and what should be expected)
  • Working WITH the people, not FOR them – mutual respect and value of skills and competences
  • Listening to the local community – they are the experts and they know what they need better than volunteers think they do
  • Matching skills to the right project and need – volunteers do not want to steal working places for the locals or get involved in areas where they have no skills

Why is responsible volunteering important?

Ethical volunteering ensures that a long-lasting change and an impact are being made. Supporting the local community (not “saving” them) and providing the knowledge necessary to maintain the effects of the project means that a change is really established.

After years of colonization, stereotyping, and cultural bias we need to work towards ensuring equal human rights and making a positive impact instead of short-term satisfaction for volunteers.

Fill out the contact form if you want to know more about our responsible volunteering programme.

Contact Form

    We take the protection of your personal data very seriously and will at no point share them with any 3rd party. We will store your data in secure locations that comply with GDPR (European Data Protection Regulation). You can at any time withdraw your consent by writing to info@international-volunteer.org – we will then remove your data from our database. By accepting this, you give consent that we can store your personal details up to 4 years.

Reflecting & Sharing

Reflecting on your experience is an important aspect of any volunteer programme. It is highly valuable not only for you but also for others. What did you learn from reality?

5 Responsible Volunteering Tips

Are you researching how to go about volunteering abroad in a responsible & ethical way? In this post we share some resources that we think could be useful for you – at least we hope so!

Advice from an ex-volunteer

“Take your time. Prepare yourself. The longer, the better. Be realistic about your skills and use them wisely. And finally: Work with people. Solve problems shoulder to shoulder.”

Responsible Volunteering

What is responsible volunteering?

Volunteering can be great and benefit all parties involved but only if it is done in a sustainable way. This is exactly what responsible (or ethical) volunteering is – making sure the focus is on the community and volunteers are working with them (not for them). Doing responsible volunteering means focusing on the long-term benefit and being sure participants are doing good not harming anyone.

  • Preparation is key (having a preparation period before volunteering where volunteers get familiar with the project, understanding the causes of the issues, and what should be expected)
  • Working WITH the people, not FOR them – mutual respect and value of skills and competences
  • Listening to the local community – they are the experts and they know what they need better than volunteers think they do
  • Matching skills to the right project and need – volunteers do not want to steal working places for the locals or get involved in areas where they have no skills

Why is responsible volunteering important?

Ethical volunteering ensures that a long-lasting change and an impact are being made. Supporting the local community (not “saving” them) and providing the knowledge necessary to maintain the effects of the project means that a change is really established.

After years of colonization, stereotyping, and cultural bias we need to work towards ensuring equal human rights and making a positive impact instead of short-term satisfaction for volunteers.

Fill out the contact form if you want to know more about our responsible volunteering programme.

Contact Form

    We take the protection of your personal data very seriously and will at no point share them with any 3rd party. We will store your data in secure locations that comply with GDPR (European Data Protection Regulation). You can at any time withdraw your consent by writing to info@international-volunteer.org – we will then remove your data from our database. By accepting this, you give consent that we can store your personal details up to 4 years.

Reflecting & Sharing

Reflecting on your experience is an important aspect of any volunteer programme. It is highly valuable not only for you but also for others. What did you learn from reality?

5 Responsible Volunteering Tips

Are you researching how to go about volunteering abroad in a responsible & ethical way? In this post we share some resources that we think could be useful for you – at least we hope so!

Advice from an ex-volunteer

“Take your time. Prepare yourself. The longer, the better. Be realistic about your skills and use them wisely. And finally: Work with people. Solve problems shoulder to shoulder.”

Sustainability & volunteering

Sustainability reflects “the ability to continue a defined behaviour indefinitely”. A development project needs to ensure that all factors involved – environmental, social and economic – are in balance.