Check out the following reactions and comments pertaining to the themes found in the book. We hope they provoke reflections and dialogue about how to approach service learning in a respectful, sustainable, and equitable manner.
Left: Connie and Fran share stories, laughs, and more thought-provoking conversation about the book with friends in Guatemala.
- “Barbie challenges the white ‘saviour complex‘” – Damian Zane, BBC.
- “Humanitarian system: just broke, or also broken?” – Elizabeth Dickenson, Devex.
- “Western do-gooders need to resist the allure of ‘exotic problems’” – Courtney E. Martin, The Guardian.
- “I went to Afghanistan to save the world. The world had other plans.” – Michael Bear Kleinman, Vox.
- “A Deeper Mission: Making Short-Term Service More Effective” – Michael Simmelink, America. “We should not be discouraged from taking these life-changing trips, but rather encouraged to do them smarter.” Simmelink lays out his own practical principles for a more sustainable and respectful approach to short-term mission work.
- “The Voluntourist’s Dilemma” – Jacob Kushner, NY Times. Most of the 400 people we interviewed in Guatemala would applaud this article, as do we. More than one said, “The last thing we need is more unskilled labor.”
- “7 Reasons Why Your Two Week Trip To Haiti Doesn’t Matter: Calling Bull on ‘Service Trips‘” – Michelle Lynn Stayton, The Almost Doctor’s Channel. Stayton certainly does not mince words in this recent article on the pitfalls of “voluntourism.” Which point resonates with you the most?
- “Can short-term trips be effective? Local connections are key, say organizers” – Elizabeth A. Elliott, National Catholic Reporter. We are delighted to share this article on the effectiveness of short-term mission trips, in which Fran and Connie share their thoughts from the book. (The article was printed as a special insert on volunteers for Jan 15-28, 2016, Vol. 52 no. 7, ignore the survey and ads in the link!)
- “Want to help someone? Shut up and listen!” – Ernesto Sirolli, TED. A thought-provoking and dynamic TED talk on reimagining charity. Does this inspire you or remind you of your own experiences trying to “do good”?
- “Social services are broken. How we can fix them” – Hilary Cottam, TED. Check out this TED talk on how relationships make all the difference, in this case enabling generations of English families to break out of a cycle of poverty.