Hoping to Help

Hoping to Help

The Promises and Pitfalls of Global Health Volunteering

Paperback - 2016
Rate this:

Overseas volunteering has exploded in numbers and interest in the last couple of decades. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people travel from wealthier to poorer countries to participate in short-term volunteer programs focused on health services. Churches, universities, nonprofit service organizations, profit-making "voluntourism" companies, hospitals, and large corporations all sponsor brief missions. Hoping to Help is the first book to offer a comprehensive assessment of global health volunteering, based on research into how it currently operates, its benefits and drawbacks, and how it might be organized to contribute most effectively. Given the enormous human and economic investment in these activities, it is essential to know more about them and to understand the advantages and disadvantages for host communities.

Most people assume that poor communities benefit from the goodwill and skills of the volunteers. Volunteer trips are widely advertised as a means to "give back" and "make a difference." In contrast, some claim that health volunteering is a new form of colonialism, designed to benefit the volunteers more than the host communities. Others focus on unethical practices and potential harm to the presumed "beneficiaries." Judith N. Lasker evaluates these opposing positions and relies on extensive research--interviews with host country staff members, sponsor organization leaders, and volunteers, a national survey of sponsors, and participant observation--to identify best and worst practices. She adds to the debate a focus on the benefits to the sponsoring organizations, benefits that can contribute to practices that are inconsistent with what host country staff identify as most likely to be useful for them and even with what may enhance the experience for volunteers. Hoping to Help illuminates the activities and goals of sponsoring organizations and compares dominant practices to the preferences of host country staff and to nine principles for most effective volunteer trips.

Publisher: Ithaca : ILR Press, an imprint of Cornell University Press, 2016
ISBN: 9781501700101
1501700103
9781501700095
150170009X
Branch Call Number: RA972.7 .L37 2016
Characteristics: ix, 262 pages ; 23 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at NSLibrary

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top