Hi there, welcome to End Humanitarian Douchery.
This campaign was launched in April 2015 by two millennials hoping to rid the world of irresponsible voluntourism. Once upon a time, we were bright-eyed, bushy-tailed do-gooders who wanted to save the world. Growing up in a culture that pushed us to help others and ‘make a difference’, we volunteered relentlessly, and like many others, had “volunteer in a third world country” etched firmly at the top our bucket lists.
Then, university came. Along with the all-nighters and stress-induced self-loathing, we grew older and wiser. Soon, we began to learn how volunteering abroad can lead to troubling outcomes, even when you have good intentions. The more we read, the more we were confronted with questions of privilege, colonialism, and other complexities that most people never talk about.
That’s why we’re here – to get that conversation started. All around us, we see our peers flocking to developing countries to ‘help the needy’ and change the world. Now, volunteering abroad can be awesome, but it also has a very dark side that most volunteers don’t think about. We want to raise awareness and educate people about how to volunteer responsibly, so they can create a beneficial experience for both themselves and their host communities. We believe in a shift from voluntourism to Fair Trade Learning and our goal is simple: to ensure that volunteers are more self-aware and critical when going abroad.
While critiques of voluntourism have been around for a while, most naysayers take an overly harsh and cynical approach to the topic. We understand that voluntourists aren’t monsters, and they’re not intentionally wreaking havoc… That’s why we’re taking a different approach to this issue. We’re not trying to shame volunteers into hating themselves… we want to empower them to pursue their passion in a responsible way.