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Would this opportunity be considered Voluntourism?

doctorrr-t

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Nov 24, 2019
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I am currently a member of a public health club at my school that is dedicated to hosting events and fundraisers to raise money for a medical organization in another country. Each year, some members of our club visit the country for about a month to get direct involvement with working with the organization, passing out supplies, and basically seeing how our funds are being used to help people of disadvantaged communities. I thought this would be a wonderful thing to list on my resume, but I recently learned about volunteerism and how its viewed by admissions officers; would you this would be looked down upon if I list it one of the many aspects of the club I serve for at school?
 

KnightDoc

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I am currently a member of a public health club at my school that is dedicated to hosting events and fundraisers to raise money for a medical organization in another country. Each year, some members of our club visit the country for about a month to get direct involvement with working with the organization, passing out supplies, and basically seeing how our funds are being used to help people of disadvantaged communities. I thought this would be a wonderful thing to list on my resume, but I recently learned about volunteerism and how its viewed by admissions officers; would you this would be looked down upon if I list it one of the many aspects of the club I serve for at school?
You're already getting credit for arranging the events and making the contributions. It doesn't seem like taking a trip overseas to see how your money is being spent either materially enhances or detracts from the good work you are already doing.

I wouldn't worry about whether or not it is considered voluntourism, since it doesn't seem to fit the usual definition. On the other hand, it does feel a little like it's an excuse to take a trip, since the material fact is you raising the money and sending it, rather than you going there to watch it be distributed, especially assuming you are partnering with a reputable charity.

If you are using the money you raise to pay for the trip (rather than paying for it yourself out of pocket), then, yeah, it's voluntourism and probably also a misuse of funds being raised for charity.
 
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doctorrr-t

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Nov 24, 2019
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You're already getting credit for arranging the events and making the contributions. It doesn't seem like taking a trip overseas to see how your money is being spent either materially enhances or detracts from the good work you are already doing.

I wouldn't worry about whether or not it is considered voluntourism, since it doesn't seem to fit the usual definition. On the other hand, it does feel a little like it's an excuse to take a trip, since the material fact is you raising the money and sending it, rather than you going there to watch it be distributed, especially assuming you are partnering with a reputable charity.

If you are using the money you raise to pay for the trip (rather than paying for it yourself out of pocket), then, yeah, it's voluntourism and probably also a misuse of funds being raised for charity.

I understand, but I thought it might be a cool opportunity to highlight my level of commitment to the organization and charity since I would be volunteering and shadowing physicians/members of the charity helping the people in the field. The funds for the trip are most definitely not taken from the charity itself either.
 

doctorrr-t

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Nov 24, 2019
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How about this: go but don't put it on your application or your resume?

I understand, but I thought it might be a cool opportunity to highlight my level of commitment to the organization and charity since I would be volunteering and shadowing physicians/members of the charity helping the people in the field. The funds for the trip are most definitely not taken from the charity itself either.
 

KnightDoc

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I understand, but I thought it might be a cool opportunity to highlight my level of commitment to the organization and charity since I would be volunteering and shadowing physicians/members of the charity helping the people in the field. The funds for the trip are most definitely not taken from the charity itself either.
In that case, there really is no harm, but, again, the real value is you organizing the event and making the contribution. I honestly don't think the trip will matter one way or the other, since it's really more for your benefit more than for the people the organization is helping. It's certainly not going to hurt you to include it though.
 
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LizzyM

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If you are going to go and you are going to include in on your application, the way to spin it will be that by going there you can come back and give an eye witness accounting of what is happening there and how donors'contributions really do make a difference. That can make you a more powerful fundraiser.
 
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--Gem

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Oct 25, 2019
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passing out supplies, and basically seeing how our funds are being used to help people of disadvantaged communities.

This would make some of my public health/global health friends go wild.

The money towards flight/travel/lodging/food (especially for multiple students) to do what sounds like pretty meaningless work would probably be better just going straight into the organization.
 
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