- Describe, in detail, why it is important to make the distinction between provider payment and provider reimbursement.
word ‘volunteer’ has been tainted – with IVCOs choosing to distance themselves from the term because of its negative perceptions of un-professionalism and the over emphasis on cultural exchange. In 2006, VSO released a statement warning of the risks of ‘gap-year’ projects, that it might become a new form of colonialism by reinforcing the ‘it’s all about us’ attitude, in that short term ‘helping’ is favoured over teaching or training (Devereux, 2008:359). It’s important to take a look at the commercial organisations which are increasingly being negatively characterised as promoting ‘volunteer tourism’. It allows globally conscious individuals to combine ‘seeing’ with ‘saving’, through different projects which they undertake whilst on holiday (Wearing, 2001). Voluntourism is one of the fastest growing markets in the world (Brown, 2005; Tomazos & Butler, 2010), it’s currently estimated at $1.6 billion (TRAM, 2008). Not only does it provide the volunteer with a chance to experience a new culture, but they will also receive career advancing benefits. Benefits however which come at the expense of those suffering from poverty and the problems inherent to life in the Global South. This form of international volunteering brings about far less long-term benefits for ‘the visited’ and far more extremely negative consequences. By using the US volunteer organisation ELI Abroad (Experiential Learning International) as a case study, I aim to take a critical look at these negative consequences and the stories, images and narratives shared by the organisation to market the programme. Using a postcolonial lense to challenge the notion of a single path to development, I will analyse and critique the popular images and representations of international volunteering more broadly. I will try to bridge the gap between the polarising perceptions of international volunteering; a neocolonial monster? (Pastran, 2014), or as that which has the potential to challenge the economic, technical and cultural focus of globalisation, by encouraging people to connect and relate with each other on a global scale (Devereux, 2008: 358). ELI’s slogan is ‘travel with a purpose!’ – because, traveling without a purpose (assuming they mean standard tourist/beach holidays) is obviously not what you want to be doing with your summer. Instead of traveling without a purpose, why not be empowered through volunteering in a developing country where you can ‘help’ out by offering your skills and knowledge. ELI’s ‘about us’ section explains their philosophy – ‘the most compelling life lessons come through experience, and that international experiences are among the most profound influences on our sense of self and our view of the world (eliabroad.org). Here ELI puts the ‘volunteers sense of self and worldview’ at the center of the experience. The language used is extremely positive, in that it makes you feel like you are very special for wanting to do something so ‘out of the ordinary’ and that you are choosing to do this because you are ‘globally-minded’. Mary Mostafanezhad (2013) says that this ‘rhetoric of compassion,’ mediates the voluntourism experience, and that it also signifies t>GET ANSWER