Solidarity Volunteering: Strong Relationships, Mutual Development

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.


As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems. Inequality is the root of social ills. - Pope Francis (Joy of the Gospel 202)