Many schools are eagerly involved in service learning or ‘voluntourism’ tours, however these programs raise important ethical considerations.
Latitude Group Travel’s Founder, Jenny Murphy, Founder of Latitude Group Travel, contributed an article to the Australian Heads Of Independent School (AHISA) journal, Independence, on this contentious topic.
We believe now is the time to reimagine how we engage with local communities, both domestically and internationally. Recently, not only have ethically grey areas emerged, but so has proof that some of the tours schools undertook were fraudulent, in that an orphanage was created just for a tour, or a building was erected only to be knocked down for the next group!
This kind of Service Learning tour approach must be weeded out and we recommend that schools carefully check these sorts of possibilities with their current provider. We don’t say this lightly at all and it is imperative to question the entirely negative impact that these tours have.
Evidence is mounting that traditional Service Learning programs – such as the two mentioned above as examples – often cause more harm than good and perpetuate deficit mindsets.”
Contact us on 03 9646 4200 to discuss your forward touring requirements – including how we can help you design a more ethical plan for Service Learning tours – for 2023 and beyond.