Voluntourism – Helpful Aid Or Just A Warm Fuzzie?

What to know before you volunteer#volunteer#humanitarianaid#relieforganizations

doctor holds patient's hand

Master of Something Yet   posted an interesting piece about the value of volunteering  while travelling in other cultures.

Voluntourism – Helpful Aid Or Just A Warm Fuzzie?.

I’ve written here about some of my volunteer trips; based on my experiences I agree with this blogger’s observations that all volunteer trips are not created equal. Some do more good for the volunteer than for those being helped, although that may not always be a bad thing. If you come home more compassionate and passionate about helping others, then maybe it was worthwhile.

Some of the groups I worked with met the criteria  this blogger suggests better than others; those are the ones I worked with a second time.

I encourage you to volunteer, either abroad or in your community.

a basic construction site with bricks
volunteers helping locals to build a medical clinic


a well in a remote site
a community well built and donated by a relief agency and donated



Interested in voluntourism? Here’s what to look for

(summary of points in the article)

  • Is the company offering the project a reputable, well-established company?
  •  Has the project been established in consultation with the local community?
  • Is the project of lasting benefit?
  •  Is the project sustainable?
  • Does the project employ local people?
  •  Where is your money going?




If the opportunity doesn’t measure up, look for something else. There are plenty out there that  need your help.

A local nurse assisted me with a patient encounter in Thailand
A local nurse assisted me with a patient encounter in Thailand

And how often do doctors volunteer their knowledge and skills? Find out here.


Wherever you go, thanks for exploring the HEART of health with me here.

           Dr. Aletha WATERCRESSWORDS.COM-exploring the HEART of health

Author: Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D.

As a family physician, I explore the HEART of HEALTH in my work, recreation, community, and through writing. My blog, Watercress Words, informs and inspires us to live in health. I believe we can turn our health challenges into healthy opportunities. When we do, we can share the HEART of health with our families, communities, and the world. Come explore and share with me.

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