Unfortunately, the capacity to care doesn’t translate to an ability to navigate the complexity of anti-trafficking work. This is especially the case when working directly with survivors emerging from exploitation. Yet, this is often the focal point for would-be volunteers. They want to meet survivors and hear their stories, lavish victims with gifts, walk through Red Light Districts, or participate in rescue operations.Read More
As I learned the hard way, there’s far more to pre-departure preparation than just getting vaccinated against typhoid and yellow fever. I also needed to be inoculated with a good dose of reality so that I could start out my service with healthy boundaries and realistic expectations.
The truth is that international volunteers are bound for more than adventure and warm, fuzzy feelings.Read More
Accepting the realities of overseas volunteers requires a level of openness and humility, not to mention a shift from sensationalized “success stories” to stories of journeys, appreciating small victories, and swallowing over-qualified smugness for performing mundane and unglamorous tasks.Read More