Volunteer work for a better world – challenges and critical perspectives

Every year more and more young people go abroad to do volunteer work: building schools, taking care of orphans and teaching English, all with high hopes of contributing to a better world. There is a growing debate around the actual impact of this trend. All good intentions aside, what impact do these projects have on the ground, and can we achieve our idealistic goals through this type of work?


  • Dr Rolando Vázquez Melken, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University College Roosevelt (research areas: ‘postcolonial thinking’, ‘visual social experience’ and the ‘critique of modern time’)
  • Florian van KuijkStichting VIA
  • Andrea Nuila Herrmannsdorfer, Honduran student/feminist activist.

Read the online debate on the Guadian Website: In defence of ‘voluntourism’ & Beware the ‘voluntourists’ doing good

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