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Voluntourism: a Gift, a Burden, or Both? - TNGO

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Voluntourism: a Gift, a Burden, or Both?

Well intentioned volunteers travel the world with the intent to ‘give back’ and volunteer while they are on vacation in underdeveloped regions. In some cases, their efforts are well received and much needed, while in others, underlying motives of narcissism and a ‘savior complex’ get in the way of real charitable action. This rapidly expanding sector of the travel industry is replete with questions of morality: do some trips help young adults pad their resumes or college applications more than they help the beneficiaries in need? Four discussants -- Kyle Wilkinson, Sanjana Suresh, Lisa Frye, and Libby Kokemoor -- will address this complex question from various perspectives, discussing both the merits and pitfalls of this burgeoning industry. 


Kyle Wilkinson, MAIR, Graduate Assistant, Transnational NGO Initiative, Former Project Manager in the Voluntourism industry

Sanjana Suresh, MAIR, former Program Manager, Pratham Education Foundation, ‘Voluntourist’ in India and host to Western ‘voluntourists’  

Lisa Frye, MAIR, former Study Abroad Coordinator, ‘Voluntorist’ in Ghana

Libby Kokemoor, MAIR/MPA, former Educational Consultant in UAE ‘Voluntourist’ in Myanmar

Lunch Will Be Served. 

For information on accessibility, or to request accommodation, please contact Marc Albert at (315) 443-9248.

Sponsored by the The Maxwell Citizenship Initiative and the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs

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Exterior of Maxwell in black and white when there was no Eggers building

We’re Turning 100!

To mark our centennial in the fall of 2024, the Maxwell School will hold special events and engagement opportunities to celebrate the many ways—across disciplines and borders—our community ever strives to, as the Oath says, “transmit this city not only not less, but greater, better and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”

Throughout the year leading up to the centennial, engagement opportunities will be held for our diverse, highly accomplished community that now boasts more than 38,500 alumni across the globe.