We may have the current generation’s To Hell with Good Intentions in a recent film from UK-based Chloé Sanguinetti, The Voluntourist. Sanguinetti captures well the moral hazards, imperialist assumptions, and naivete that collude to produce imperfect outcomes for volunteers and – all to often – negative outcomes for communities.
While it seems that ninety or ninety-five percent of the film exposes negative outcomes associated with uninformed international volunteering, Sanguinetti’s closing narration offers the possibility for good programming. She asserts there are “right ways to volunteer, good programs, and good organizations,” while acknowledging that “it is easy to become a victim in this market.” Finally, and importantly, Sanguinetti offers a short list of alternative ways to “do good” in the world.
Here at globalsl, we’re going to continue to amass evidence-based resources that support best practice global learning, cooperative development, and community-campus partnerships. We’re thankful Sanguinetti has given us another fine, provocative teaching and discussion resource.