Voluntourism | Give a Dam

Yatou & Iona 23/10/2020

In this edition of Give a Dam, Iona and Yatou introduce the White Savior Complex in the context of the booming industry of “voluntourism”. They address the challenges of western altruism and how wanting to contribute to development by volunteering abroad often means perpetuating inequalities on a racial, economic and cultural level. While a formal solution to this ongoing perception of the White Savior has yet to be developed, it surely takes meaningful reflections by westerners– what is needed is for us to address the ways by which tourism and voluntourism perpetuate unwarranted dynamics of authority and often times sustain a plethora of inequalities and dependencies which translate into the international development industry.

Thanks to Mary (@mary.mandefield) and Francesca (@fran.caputo) for their personal anecdotes!

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