In recent years, the volunteer abroad “market” has exploded with a plethora of opportunities to help…however, not all these opportunities have an ethical backbone to guide the organizations, companies or agencies who are sending the volunteers.
At LLI, we do things differently. We are first a nonprofit offering community education programs, and we are second a volunteer program. Thus, LLI is constantly working to listen to the community and shape our programs to fit their needs. Volunteers are definitely needed to keep the wheels going round within these programs.
In order to raise the ethical standards of international volunteering at LLI, in August we began a series of monthly civic reflection discussions with both international and local LLI volunteers. The purpose of these discussions is to provide a place for those serving in Huaycan to work out difficult issues within the field of community service and development. Thus far, we’ve tackled complex questions like:
-What does it mean to serve?
-How important are perceptions when volunteering?
-How do we know who to give to and who not to give to?
Our group has included volunteers from Peru, the United States, Finland, France and Australia, making for a great cross-cultural exchange of ideas and opinions.
To get an idea of the materials we’ve used to guide us, check out The Lunch Date:
Stay tuned for more updates on our discussions!