I have really enjoyed this week in class. All of the reading material has been interesting, and I have enjoyed hearing everyone discuss their opinions on doing good abroad. Personally, I have come to the conclusion that the best way to help abroad is to invest in human capital abroad. Whether this is through donating money to an international organization or using your specific skill set abroad, this is the best and most efficient way to help abroad. I am baffled by the stories told in class like the one with the sleeping workers while the Americans were building the house. Also, the orphanages abroad where many of the children are not orphans, and they are preying on the money of people who are only trying to help. While I believe that it is important to help others, it must be done in a smart way. Before participating in any volunteer program abroad, I will do my research.
Also, I was shocked when the “Voluntourism” article that we read described volunteering at an orphanage in Africa to be “sexy.” This only reinforces the fact that many who go abroad to volunteer are doing it for themselves, not those who they are supposed to be helping. It is fine to do volunteer work abroad for self-fulfillment, but it is also important that we do not exploit a foreign culture or damage their economy. As far as I’m concerned, if I ever go abroad to volunteer, it will be for others and not myself. I’m sure that I will accumulate some sort of personal fulfillment along the way, but it will not be my main goal.