You know that scene in Dumbo where the baby elephant is turned into a clown and forced to jump from a burning building at the circus? And remember when Dumbo’s mum was chained up in a small carriage and Dumbo couldn’t see her, only her trunk? God Dumbo used to make me cry, even though I knew that in the end he’d learn to fly and be reunited with his mum. The thing is, we’ve just been volunteering at the Elephant Nature Park (ENP) in Chaing Mai for a week and I’ve only just realised how horrifically realistic Dumbo is. Read the rest of this entry
Over the last few years, since I first volunteered at Riverkids, I have been helping them from the UK. I schedule tweets based on news articles, edit reports and write blogs based on their work. As part of that I’ve learn a lot about voluntourism and why it’s not always all it’s cracked up to be.
One of the main problems with voluntourism is that it’s hard to actually help change a community in just a few short weeks. It can be disruptive to the community and the individuals you work with. Instead of helping, you can contribute to keeping the people dependent on aid. Without proper help, you can cause far more damage than good. Read the rest of this entry