Author Topic: Travel Snobs  (Read 3409 times)

Chesleygirl

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Re: Travel Snobs
« Reply #50 on: October 08, 2017, 11:35:15 AM »
Nope, there's very little good being done on those trips. Either they mess up the kids by having a constantly rotating cast of "white saviors", they do shoddy work that is redone after they leave by locals, they take jobs away from locals who could be doing it instead, or they encourage "orphanages" to buy children to use as props in their businesses. If you want to go on vacation, be honest about it, don't pretend it's some kind of humanitarian mission, because more likely than not it's causing more harm than good. Certain people with in demand skills can actually be helpful abroad (doctors and engineers without borders come to mind), but that only works if you have something valuable to offer, and if the program is structured in a way to give lasting benefits and not just week long photo ops.

I feel the same way. Especially the part about taking jobs away from local people who need the money. But if you try to raise any of these objections with a church member who promotes missions, they're going to go on the attack. I'd probably be flamed up and down if I brought this up. I might even be kicked out of my church. Seriously.

But yes, I think if someone wants a vacation they should just be honest about it. The "youth" mission trips seem to be geared towards giving the young people a great life experience. Like a Rite of Passage. They come back and talk about how great it was for them. Never talk about what they accomplished that might have benefited anyone else.

PoutineLover

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Re: Travel Snobs
« Reply #51 on: October 08, 2017, 12:02:30 PM »
Nope, there's very little good being done on those trips. Either they mess up the kids by having a constantly rotating cast of "white saviors", they do shoddy work that is redone after they leave by locals, they take jobs away from locals who could be doing it instead, or they encourage "orphanages" to buy children to use as props in their businesses. If you want to go on vacation, be honest about it, don't pretend it's some kind of humanitarian mission, because more likely than not it's causing more harm than good. Certain people with in demand skills can actually be helpful abroad (doctors and engineers without borders come to mind), but that only works if you have something valuable to offer, and if the program is structured in a way to give lasting benefits and not just week long photo ops.

I feel the same way. Especially the part about taking jobs away from local people who need the money. But if you try to raise any of these objections with a church member who promotes missions, they're going to go on the attack. I'd probably be flamed up and down if I brought this up. I might even be kicked out of my church. Seriously.

But yes, I think if someone wants a vacation they should just be honest about it. The "youth" mission trips seem to be geared towards giving the young people a great life experience. Like a Rite of Passage. They come back and talk about how great it was for them. Never talk about what they accomplished that might have benefited anyone else.
I wouldn't last long at your church, I really don't like these sorts of missions. People would do more good by volunteering their time in their own communities if they want to help, and donating money to charities abroad(preferably effective and ethical ones).
My former church had an especially disgusting example of voluntourism gone wrong actually. The priest and some church members would raise money to go down south once a year to provide "aid". Once there, the priest would trade food and money to young local boys in exchange for sexual favours. Luckily he was caught and went to jail, but I shudder to think how many kids he hurt, all under the umbrella of the church. I know that particular circumstance is rare, but it does make me realize that there need to be measures in place to prevent exploitation of the kids involved in the mission trips as well.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Travel Snobs
« Reply #52 on: October 08, 2017, 03:48:58 PM »
I wouldn't last long at your church, I really don't like these sorts of missions. People would do more good by volunteering their time in their own communities if they want to help, and donating money to charities abroad(preferably effective and ethical ones).
My former church had an especially disgusting example of voluntourism gone wrong actually. The priest and some church members would raise money to go down south once a year to provide "aid". Once there, the priest would trade food and money to young local boys in exchange for sexual favours. Luckily he was caught and went to jail, but I shudder to think how many kids he hurt, all under the umbrella of the church. I know that particular circumstance is rare, but it does make me realize that there need to be measures in place to prevent exploitation of the kids involved in the mission trips as well.

That's just awful. And he was doing this on free money from his church.

I wonder if the answer is, that people traveling on mission trips shouldn't be allowed anywhere near children. I just see so, so, so many pictures of people posing with kids on these trips, putting it on social media and I wonder if they even have permission to be taking those kids photographs. It also seems the child is merely a prop to showcase their lifestyle of traveling. Not that this is necessarily child abuse but it doesn't seem totally appropriate. Why can't they just take pictures of themselves or the scenery without using children as props.