This week's talking point is voluntourism. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below so that ideas come to mind more easily the day you get together with your friends and you can work out vocabulary problems beforehand.
Have you ever heard of any famous people who do a lot of charity? Who? What do they do?
Is it easier to be generous if you are rich?
Can you recall any people who were not rich, but still became famous for their generosity to others?
What else can people do to help others apart from giving money?
Have you ever given unpaid help to any groups or organisations?
When was the last time you volunteered to do something?
What kind of volunteering projects do people usually get involved in?
Do you have experience or know anyone who has in this kind of activity?
If not, would you be prepared to use your holiday time to help? Why / Why not?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of this kind of activity?
What other ways can you think of to get close to local people on a holiday?
You and your partner are planning to spend your summer holidays together and have decided to do some volunteer work. Choose a volunteer project that suits you, or think of another. Give reasons why you find the projects appealing or not.
1 saving cheetahs from extinction in South Africa
2 conserving the Amazon rainforest in Peru
3 helping build schools in Ghana
4 coaching sport to schoolchildren in Nepal
When preparing for the specific project that you chose, what could you bear in mind about ... ?
·practical preparation to learn the local customs
·positive impact of volunteers
·negative impact of volunteers
·likely personal development and life skills
To illustrate the topic, watch this video where Holbrook Travel's Stephanie Kowacz discusses voluntourism, the rewarding experience of travelling while also lending a hand in a community abroad.
Stephanie has participated in sea turtle conservation projects, reforestation projects, school renovations and more.