Ethics of Voluntourism

July 20, 2015

Where does one draw the line between volunteering and exploitation? Lily Doron explains how her experience in Jordan has shown her that the distinction is not always clear.

Doron is a student on the Bass Connections project team Displacement, Resettlement and Global Mental Health working in Jordan this summer.

“I do believe that everyone who does Habaybi [a project run by the organization Dar Al Yasmin] truly does want to help. But there is something about playing with a group of Syrian refugee children for a couple of hours (never to return again, or to come back only a couple times like I did) that creates a degree of separation from the children and gives the impression that it is just for a short ‘I helped’ moment, and that one doesn’t have the obligation to care any more or to do anything else.”

Read her blog post on the Kenan Institute for Ethics website.