• Investigation
  • One absolute rule volunteers should never break

    I write this blog to my 18-year-old-self. She wanted to make a difference and see more of the world, but she was also pretty clueless and she knew she’d probably mess up somehow. There are so many horror stories about ignorant voluntourists, whether they’re building sub-standard schools that get torn down, or just being unwittingly culturally […]

  • Investigation
  • Building schools in Africa: does it make you a terrible person? part 2

    Photo by Liv Unni Sodem

    The answer is — no! Wow, glad that suspense is over.  I was seriously on the fence, but I reached out to some charitable organisations which build schools in Africa and was bowled over by the enthusiastic responses I got back. Do communities even need schools? The first worry with international development is that westerners […]

  • Investigation
  • Building schools in Africa: does it make you a terrible person? part 1

    Schoolchildren

    Holy clickbaity title Batman, let’s get to it. My school used to run a field trip to South Africa. Kids got to spend a week out there helping to maintain a school for something like £1000. It was the first volunteering trip I decided to go on. I was about 15 years old. That year, the older kids […]