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Category: Volunteer Vacations in Haiti
Haiti quake generates voluntourism interest

CNN’s Jim Kavanagh writes “When the going gets tough, the compassionate get going,” in a March 4, 2010 feature on volunteer vacation activity in Haiti after January’s devastating earthquake.

According to Kavanagh, a spike in interest in “voluntourism” has been reported by several organizations:

However, Kavanagh writes that it may not be the time for many unskilled volunteers to flood into Haiti. Many organizations are advising people on other ways or places they can help.
“Because of logistics and security, we’re not in a place right now where we’re bringing volunteers into Haiti, and it may be a while before we are able to do that,” said Desiree Hadaway, senior director of volunteer mobilization with Habitat for Humanity International. “Because we won’t do it until we know that people can be safe and have a really great volunteer experience.”

Instead, to boost the battered Haitian economy, Habitat is hiring local residents to do some work in Haiti that otherwise would be done by volunteers, Hadaway said.
The CNN report notes that in Chile – which suffered a severe earthquake on February 27 – as was the case in Haiti, the greatest need at the moment is highly trained first responders. Chile is more developed and self-sufficient and so far has not requested outside help.

Individuals interested in volunteer vacations, voluntourism and working vacations should visit Globe Aware.

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