Sally Hetherington

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Voluntourism

Cambodia, Developing countries, Human and Hope Association, Voluntourism

The importance of championing for local communities

“Cambodians should help themselves and their own people whenever they can. By running their own NGO’s, they can demonstrate the ability to successfully operate organisations on their own. They then become good role models to other organisations that depend on foreigners and give Cambodians confidence in themselves. When Cambodians run their own NGO’s, they eliminate the assumption of some Cambodians and foreigners who say that some jobs can only be undertaken by foreign nationals. It is  ...

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Cambodia, Voluntourism

This is why you shouldn’t browse social media at night

Does anyone else browse social media when they can’t sleep? I do, and I always tend to regret it. The other night, unable to sleep despite knowing I would have to get up at 5:30am the next day, I hopped on Instagram and searched ‘voluntourism’. You know, just to let my blood boil. I came across a photo of a white girl surrounded by Cambodian children, so I clicked on the photo to investigate it further. And what do you know, the photo was taken at an English school that is  ...

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Cambodia, Child Protection, Developing countries, Orphanages, Voluntourism

Cambodia’s Fake Orphanages

Although you may think you are ‘giving back’ by volunteering or visiting an orphanage, you are actually contributing to the rise in Cambodia’s fake orphanages. During my five years living in Siem Reap, I witnessed an alarming increase in the rise of Cambodia’s fake orphanages. Many orphanages are set up as a profit-making business, and do not contribute to the development of local communities at all. There are reports around the country of children not having enough  ...

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Cambodia, Developing countries, Laos, Myanmar, Poverty, Poverty Tourism, Responsible Tourism, Social problems, South East Asia, Thailand, Travel, Voluntourism

So you want to volunteer to teach in a developing country

It is great that you have the urge to help, but before you jump online and book your flights, stop and ask yourself the following questions. Am I qualified? Firstly, are you a qualified teacher? Many people who visit Cambodia to ‘teach’ are unqualified teenagers or young adults who are still learning themselves. Would you want your child to learn from someone who wasn’t qualified to teach; who didn’t possess the necessary skills to control a class; who may be so  ...

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