Giving time to a cause you believe in can be extremely rewarding. As Demba Kandeh, a volunteer worker in the Gambia, explained, “Volunteering is a beautiful thing.”
But when do volunteer programs empower and when do they exploit? Does building this kind of workforce benefit communities? Would essential services simply not be provided if it weren't for volunteers, as several people told Amy Costello in her investigation of volunteer health workers in Senegal. With help in part from the Global Voices community of bloggers, we found perspectives from around the globe.
Have you volunteered for a nonprofit organization? Share your own experiences and follow the hashtag #TrackingCharity on Twitter to discuss.
"A volunteer structure adds a lot of flexibility," he says. "I feel that a group of people working together in a relief situation is much better than a formalized structure because it reacts faster."
"We talk about Islam, which encourages people to do volunteer work." says Badr. "But we never tell people that we will pay them. We don't have money. This is the reality."
"I never thought about taking advantage of people whom we helped," López Therese says.
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