Volunteering abroad — look twice before you leap

helicopter.jpgVolunteering abroad might seem like a good idea, but how can you be sure that your efforts will really do good … both for yourself and the place you visit?

At a recent forum hosted by Tourism Concern, tourism officials from Maasai and Thai communities said volunteer tourism markets itself to young people by using negative stereotypes that perpetuate colonialism. But tour promoters argued that volunteering offers meaningful experiences for both host communities and travelers. The trick is to do it right.

So how to be sure that the project you sign up with is worthwhile, both for you and for the world? This quick online Guide to Ethical Volunteering is a good place to start.