Merry Christmas! What a wonderful time to remind people that “volunteer tourism” is a horrible thing that rich white people do that actively makes the world worse! To wit:
“Do you want to feel fulfilled? Do you want to ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world?’ How about adding some international healthcare experience to your residency applications? The common theme in those sentences is ‘you’. But it shouldn’t be about you, it should be about the people you’re there to help.
My least favorite but most common response when asking someone about their micro-trip abroad goes something like this: ‘I was heartbroken to see how life is there. It really makes me realize just how good we have it. My life will never be the same.’ (*Rolls eyes*)
If you truly want this experience — to change your world perspective, etc. — then at least call it like it is and admit you’re going on a self-fulfillment trip. Don’t call it humanitarian work when the only human benefiting from this experience is you.”
The article contains a ton of links to more objective sources of information as well.
And of course, lots of charities, even the once noble American Red Cross, are basically scams.
There’s a basic human impulse to want to help those in need but also a basic human propensity towards being a hustler.
Even your cute pink breast cancer ribbon is kind of fucking awful.