What ELSE? — Voluntourism 101
This is the fourth post in a series about what ELSE PEPY does. Click here for the first post.
Karina Kloos joined PEPY five months ago with plans to help us monitor the impact of our volunteer tourism programs and to see the work in action by helping to lead upcoming tours of groups from the U.A.E.. Those groups were delayed which gave us more time to have Karina in her role as voluntourism consultant. What started out as a self-check tool for PEPY to monitor our impact has grown into something we are hoping can be shared with and effective for the industry at large. We recognize that we can not be our own judge and jury and that we cannot dictate all of the metrics to which we will hold ourselves. If we want to reach high standards with our tour options, we need to ask other what those high standards should be.
To start, Karina went out and asked for ideas in areas where volunteer tourism might have a positive or negative impact on the people and places it affected. Since then, she has been gathering support from the industry to make this tool more useful for others and is creating metrics from which to measure the collective goals her focus group has set. PEPY is going to partner with Wild Asia to help pass along this self-check tool with the industry and has asked XOLA Consulting and Lasso Communications to help spread word and contribute to this tool as well. Our greater goal is to get more information out to people in the industry with regards to effective practices and impact evaluation. Through Karina’s efforts and our continuing work with voluntourism101.com (coming soon!) we hope to share the lessons we have learned in Cambodia with others around the world.