- February 21, 2014
- Posted by: Meg VanDeusen
- Category: Partner, Wednesday Wisdom
Today’s post comes from Everyday Ambassador’s newest Partner Organization, Learning Service, and it comes perfectly in time after a blog post titled “The Problem with Little White Girls (And Boys)” went viral this week. We are so excited to be joining forces with another online community that wants to talk about the challenging topics involved with international service work — and do something concrete to overcome these challenges! Learning Service provides a robust set of resources for how to really do good in the world, without hurting anyone, without reinforcing oppressive power structures, without perpetuating divisive cross-cultural interactions. Please note they have a contest that ends next Friday, February 28th — check out their videos, learn what you need to “know before you go”, and be a part of this movement!
Despite the growing trendiness of “giving-back”, figuring out the best way to do so can be daunting. A quick search for international volunteer programs reveals overwhelming options. Look up #voluntourism and #volunteerabroad and the conversations will only add to the confusion. On one hand, some organizations promise life-changing adventures in two weeks or less, while the other points fingers at volunteers blaming them for perpetuating dependency.
So how do you cut through all the chatter and figure out how to actually make a difference?
Learning Service is an advocacy group promoting the idea we must learn and develop understanding before we jump in to serve. In January, Learning Service released a series of videos designed to help you navigate the numerous volunteer opportunities and figure out how to put your good intentions to good use. The series tackles topics such as how to find responsible volunteer projects, how to be a valuable asset during your placement, and how to apply your overseas experiences back home.
One video even offers some answers (and this handy diagram, right) to the question, “How can I do good in the world?” Plus, all of the Learning Service videos are available online:
- Finding a Responsible Volunteer Placement
- Being a Valuable Volunteer
- Returning from your Volunteer Experience
- Orphanage Tourism
- How can I do good in the world?
- Tips for responsible travel: Southeast Asia
And there’s more! Alongside the video series Learning Service created the “Know Before You Go” contest. After watching these videos, you can answer questions that automatically enter theyoum in a drawing for a pair of KEEN shoes and an Eagle Creek Pack-It Cube! If you who answer all six questions correctly, you will also be entered in a drawing for two additional prizes from Eagle Creek: a Dane Brief and an Emerson Carry-All, and the grand prize: a three-day stay in Siem Reap, Cambodia with PEPY Tours!
If you’d like more information about how to volunteer and travel responsibly, check out the resources available on the Learning Service website or email firstname.lastname@example.org. And don’t forget to enter the contest at here!