Solidarity Volunteering: Strong Relationships, Mutual Development

Change can and does occur

Monica and Anche

Returning to Baucau years after she’d finished her placement, Monica Morrison came to the conclusion that “change can move so slowly when one is in the midst of volunteering. It almost seems imperceptible, but it can and does occur. “

Five things we don’t do (part 3: the final installment, but not the final word)

"Hold still. I just need to photograph your distress from a different angle."

The obligations to avoid volunteering “done wrong” fall predominantly to the sending organisations who have the opportunity to learn from experience and continually improve the process. This final installment includes considerations behind the scenes which may not be immediately apparent to the individuals who apply to volunteer.

5 more mistakes in development volunteering (part 2)

Foreigners as saviours?

Last week I wrote a piece listing five things we don’t do when sending volunteers. I described it as an introduction to “volunteering done wrong”. I now humbly present, part 2: five more mistakes in development volunteering.

What we don’t do – 5 rules for volunteering overseas (part 1)

Volunteers with shovels are like politicians with hard hats.

In order to defend volunteering as a worthwhile activity if “done right”, I have decided to outline what volunteering “done wrong” involves. This first installment covers 5 common mistakes made by volunteers.

Retired volunteers: the giving of wisdom

Ben, Frank and John in Madang

You would be mistaken if you think volunteering is just a “young person’s game”. Older volunteers bring a number of qualities which can make them the most effective at contributing to their host communities.


Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer. - Unknown