• 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 […]

  • Destination guides
  • How to get around in Palestine

    Grassroots organisations for volunteers in the West Bank can be found in the previous blog. Palestine was my first volunteering experience and I would recommend travelling there to anyone; it’s an eye-opening experience in a beautiful country. I know every tourist has one place which they claim to have the friendliest people on earth, but I’m not […]

  • Destination guides
  • How to volunteer in Palestine

    This guide will teach you a little bit about Palestine and how to volunteer in the West Bank. Gaza is pretty much cut off right now, and as the two areas are very different and I’ve only been to the West Bank, I won’t be talking about Gaza at all. What, where, why? I left […]

  • Uncategorized
  • “The Voluntourist” documentary: Gap yahs and good intentions

    Recently I watched a talking heads documentary on voluntourists. Not that one. It’s easy to think that most volunteers are like the “gap yah” guy: ignorant, unshakingly convinced by their own do-gooding, and constantly taking exploitative photos with locals for their next Facebook update. The Voluntourist is a series of interviews with volunteers and NGO workers […]

  • Guest posts
  • Humanitarians of Tinder: Turn Your Voluntourism into Sexual Capital and Reap the Rewards

    Three examples of volunteers posing on Tinder

    Guest post by Rory Evans from Development and Human Rights The aptly named website Humanitarians of Tinder lays bare a phenomena that most of us were already aware of. If you’ve got a photo of some volunteering you did, be sure to capitalise on its potential to bag that extra sexy someone by adding it to your Tinder profile […]

  • 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


    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 […]