Projects - write an essay about voluntourism

Malc Prentice

north dakota


Do you want to volunteer?

Why? Where? When? Who with? Doing what?


Quiz for listening

1) The speaker built a school in Cambodia. Why didn't it work?

2) Daniela mentions three mistakes people can make when doing volunteer travel. Why is each bad?

3) What is "learning service" as opposed to "service learning"?

4) She mentions 3 reasons volunteers don't volunteer again - three "overloads". What are the three?

5) What activities does she mention for a learning-service "development education tour"?

6) To encourage this, what does she recommend parents and teachers do?


In teams, read and do ONE COMBINED outline for all readings

Team A

Traits of a responsible Program (1500 words)

Team B

News Story: The white tourists's burden. 1000 words
News: Cambodia orphans (500 words)

Bonus materials

Reading: UN report about orphange tourism mentioned in the TED talk: (link)

Listening: A video from Daniela's group matching group A's "traits" article: (link)

Essay project

You are going to critically analyse a volunteer opportunity.

1) Download the examples and templates

Example essay is on website: example criteria analysis one thing volunteer essay

Use the SECTIONAL essay template in the shared materials folder.

2) Read them

3) Choose ONE volunteer organisation to analyse. For ideas, try:


It is sometimes hard to tellthe difference between

For example:

1) Travel Agency 1 is offering a project helping animals in Argentina: (link)

2) Travel Agency 2 is offering a projec helpinng animals in Argentina: (link)

3) Search Engine 1 finds a project helping animals in Argentina: (link)

This is the SAME project and it is run by NEITHER of these agencies. They each take a fee ($2-300) for placing volunteers.

This is not necessarily a bad thing - small projects do not always have the budget for advertisng, websites, recruitment.

However, just like volunteer projects, not all volunteer travel agencies are good. You can do an essay on one, but your criteria will be different.

This confuses everyone in class when I try to explain it. But just imagine you want to fly to London:

1) You go to Kayak, a Search Engine: (link)

2) Kayak tells you the best time/price is from JTB, a travel agency. You click that link on Kayak, which takes you to JTB website, where you buy the flight

3) The flight is actually with ANA.

Here is how to tell:

I prefer you to choose an actual project. Best choice - choose a small organisation with a small number of projects in ONE country or a limited area

DO NOT choose a search engine. Just use it to find projects

You CAN choose a travel agency, as there are good ones and bad ones, but your criteria need to change. See below:

Sometimes, with a very large organisatin it is hard to tell. However, if you choose a large volunteer organisation, do not review the whole organisation - pick a specific PROJECT in a specific COUNTRY with lots of information on that project.

4) Choose three important criteria (traits)

Your essay will ask you to

1) Define the criteria (e.g. what is sustainability)

2) WHy is it important?

3) How can I check it (Don't just say "check the website" - check WHICH website look WHERE look for WHAT )

Note that if you choose to review a voluteer travel AGENCY, your criteria are limited

Travel agencies are not directly responsible for research, sustainability, leading volunteers.

They are only responsible for CHOOSING projects/people responsibly and carefully before allowing them on teir list of projects

Travel agencies criteria (what they are responsible for) are for example:

1) Choosing and/or preparing volunteers well

2) Choosing and monitoring projects well

3) Own transparency - is it clear how they use those fees they collect? Is the description of each project true and clear? Is it clear they are for-profit?

5) Start research on your organisation.

6) Start putting your research into the template outline



  1. INTRO
    1. GB/SB
      1. e.g. Many students want to help others/ one way is volunteer
      2. e.g. Many students want to volunteer / most want to go abroad
      3. If possible, cite a number (how many volunteer)
    2. IB: Not all volunteer experiences good / some can make things worse (cite)
    3. THESIS
      1. For presentation start "As such, today I will"
      2. For essay, start "This essay "
      3. Finish "outline three criteria for choosing a good volunteer organisation, then describe and analyse one organisation using those criteria
  2. Criteria section (3 slides/paragraphs)
    1. Criterion 1
      1. Section thesis ("The three most important criteria for choosing a good volunteer organisation are 1, 2, and 3")
      2. Paragraph topic (aka slide title): "The first...")
      3. WHAT to check
        1. (e.g. sustainability = long term plans, repair training, post-project funding).
        2. Probably a kind DEFINITION e.g. "Sustainability IS A characteristic of planning WHICH exists when / Transparency IS A requirement of FINANCIAL REPORTING, showing that an organisation has"
      4. HOW to check
        1. (e.g. website, review website, volunteer blogs, govt reports)
        2. e.g. "In order to check this, it is necessary to"
    2. Criterion 2
      1. Paragraph topic (aka slide title)
      2. WHAT to check
      3. HOW to check it
    3. Criterion 3
      1. Paragraph topic (aka slide title)
      2. WHAT to check
      3. HOW to check it
  3. Analysis section (4 slides/paragraphs)
    1. Paragraph 1: Thesis and Description
      1. Section thesis ("This section first describes one organisation - NAME - in detail, then analyses it in terms of ther criteria outlined above.")
      2. 2-4 Description points (WHAT is theiraim, WHAT do they do exactly, WHERE do they do it, WHEN did they start, WHO does what, etc)
      3. link to next paragraph ("THe remainder of this section analyses...")
    2. Analysis 1
      1. Paragraph topic (aka slide title)
      2. 2-3 points
        1. What exactly did you check? ("In order to confirm TOPIC, X was checked for Y")
        2. What exactly did you find? ("It was found that Y was / was not available/detailed. In addition, it (could not) be confirmed that Z")
        3. Explanation and or Summary: What does this mean - does the organisation meet the criterion or not? ("As such, because ..., this organisation does not meet this criterion")
    3. Analysis 2
      1. Paragraph topic (aka slide title)
        1. What exactly did you check?
        2. What exactly did you find?
        3. Explanation and or Summary
    4. Analysis 3
      1. Paragraph topic (aka slide title)
        1. What exactly did you check?
        2. What exactly did you find?
        3. Explanation and or Summary
  4. Discussion
    1. Topic sentence (Thesis in other words and past tense)
    2. Summary
      1. EITHER two sentences, one about each section ("In summary there are three..of which this organisation met one and partially met two. The results of the analysis showed that...")
    3. Final comment (Should I volunteer with them or not? Use "should" or other recommendation language) e.g. "In conclusion, despite some issues with X, this is a good organisation to volunteer with in terms of Y and Z and students should consider it when they are deciding where to volunteers."