The price of giving
  ·  2024-02-06  ·   Source: NO.7-8 FEBRUARY 15, 2024

Over the past few years, China has seen the rise of a new type of travel program that combines volunteer experiences with sightseeing tours. For a considerable fee,participants can choose to volunteer in the fields of wildlife protection, rural education and environmental conservation in a wide range of locations, which include both overseas tourism destinations such as Thailand and Bali, and remote rural areas in China. 

These forms of voluntourism, however, have evolved from nonprofit programs into highly commercialized activities.Some rural education programs have allotted more time to travel activities than teaching. For many youngsters applying for college or work, the inclusion of volunteer experience in their resume has become a powerful means to show that they are community-minded, caring and experienced in working with people from diverse backgrounds. Having spotted a huge demand for resume-worthy volunteer work, a highly integrated industrial chain has formed.

These programs claim to support disadvantaged communities, but do they really want to be cared for in such a way? Is the presence of volunteers a sort of intrusion into their daily life? These and many other issues need to be better addressed.

(, January 25)


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