With the travel industry worldwide experiencing exponential growth in demand for ‘philanthropic travel’ or ‘voluntourism’ travel it is time for travellers to take stock to ensure that they are choosing a reputable operator of volunteer holidays – one that does their due diligence to ensure that the experience is beneficial to all involved.
Here are the Responsible Travel principals that our Community Project Travel program follows:
- NO orphanage tourism.
- Our Child Safe Tourism policy means that we do not send adult volunteers into schools to interact with children or untrained adults into schools to teach students.
- We select our projects in consultation with our local partners. We target vulnerable communities that receive little to no government funding.
- We consult with the heads and leaders of the communities to determine a list of projects that they require completed as well as the associated costs and an order of priority.
- We commit to these communities over a sustained period of time, ensuring that we are assisting with a long-term sustainable solution.
- We complete the list of project work in two ways 1. Community Project Travel – whereby we send ‘voluntourists’ – small groups of travellers, families and school groups – into the community to complete project work. Travellers are able to make donations to the World Expeditions Foundation to assist with the funding of these projects. 2. The World Expeditions Foundation contributes funds to the communities to purchase materials and employ local workpeople to complete certain project work.
- Our groups of voluntourists are joined by volunteers from the local community to complete the project work to ensure local engagement, transfer of skills and mutual insights into culture.