By now, you should be well aware of why humanitarian douchery needs to end… but are you still unsure of how these behaviours look in real life? Here are the 7 Sins of Humanitarian Douchery and how you can recognize them in action.

Want to avoid committing these sins? Be sure to check out our toolkit for a guide on responsible volunteering abroad.

Research Slothery

When sloth-like laziness leads to a lack of research on volunteer organizations and host communities. This could give rise to the wrongful support of unethical organizations and performing work that is not in line with communities’ needs.

Workin' Pride

When a volunteer’s pride gets in the way of their realization that they might not be suited (or qualified) for certain types of work. This leads them to do work that they are untrained and unqualified to do, which could hinder progress within the organization.

Volunteering as Gluttonous Consumption

When volunteers treat their trip like any other act of consumption and trample into host communities with a mindset of vacationing and tourism, pursuing photo opps and messy nights out instead of a true learning experience.

Greedy Grabby Volunteering

When volunteers are blinded by a “me me me” attitude that leads them to impose their values on the host communities they visit. A greed for the perfect volunteer experience can lead to a lack of consideration for what would best benefit those in the local community.

Fishing for Envy

When volunteers pursue trips for selfish reasons like making themselves look good and making others jealous. Volunteering without the right intentions puts volunteers in the wrong mindset for valuable contributions.


Lusting for Likes

When volunteers flaunt their experiences on social media and portray themselves as ‘heroes’ who are ‘saving’ the third world, often through photos and stories of their trip. This can reinforce stereotypes, images of differences and unequal power relationships between the volunteer and their host community.

Ragingly Enlightened Wrath

When volunteers return home from trips and look down on others for not having done the same thing. This sin doesn’t necessarily impact local communities, but is probably the douchiest sin of all (and your friends will likely agree).

Alright, now that you know what humanitarian douchery looks like, it's time to see our solution.

Click here to learn about Fair Trade Learning.