“I’m gonna feed you!”
Many people think of volunteering abroad as a good thing – but have you considered the actual impact it can have?
Before you sign up for a well-meaning trip to a developing country, check out this video from SAIH Norway. It’s a hilarious demonstration of the problem with “voluntourism” – when people from Western countries do humanitarian work abroad without much knowledge of the communities they’re working in.
Watch as Lilly competes on a game show for a chance to “save Africa” – symbolizing how humanitarian volunteers, who are often young and white, may not be as helpful as they think.
We hope this gives you an idea of how “charity” work can cause more harm than good by perpetuating stereotypes, “white savior” complexes, and misunderstandings about other cultures.
The Editors at Everyday Feminism
Click for the Transcript
To learn more about this topic, check out:
- 4 Ways Humanitarian Work Abroad Reinforces the Oppression It Should Be Fighting
- Africa Is Not a Derailment Tactic: Why Belittling ‘First World Problems’ Is Oppressive
SAIH Norway is the solidarity organization of students and academics in Norway. SAIH focuses on education in development cooperation, as well as North/South information and political advocacy in Norway. You can check them out on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @saih.
Search our 3000+ articles!
Our online racial justice training
Used by hundreds of universities, non-profits, and businesses.
Click to learn more