Our chief goal is to raise the sense of awareness and responsibility of current and future volunteers who want to do good in foreign places. In practical terms, this means rethinking voluntourism – the area of great potential, but also a rapidly expanding travel market.
Due to the big range of quality of different projects, our goal is not to discredite or promote particular organizations, but to promote awareness about the risks and benefits of voluntourism in general. We hope to provide a practical tool which will help volunteers to find and distinguish sustainable projects on their own. We also promote pre-departure training focused on identifying social problems, recognizing human exploitation and understanding local cultures. Why is it so important?
With the increase of interest in voluntourism, the quality of some volunteer projects decline. The lack of knowledge about social problems brings also the risk of human exploitation and child abuse – there are many cases of NGOs turning into “money making businesses” to gain income from volunteers and visitors. Due to this growing issue, volunteers need to be aware of different types of human exploitation and the ways of recognizing them, so they can report them to anti-human exploitation organizations.
Due to the lack of pre-departure preparation, often volunteers are not familiar with local cultures, social problems and the code of conduct. Many researches show that most of the volunteers declare that learning the code of conduct would be essential and many organizations simply lack this kind of training. This is important not only to make volunteers work easier and more effective, but also not interfere with local values.
Aware Volunteer is an independent, non-profit and autonomous network open for cooperation with all organizations and individuals, who share our idea. If you want to join our team, don’t hesitate to contact us!