Volunteering Abroad Is Popular And Problematic. Let's Fix It

From students to professionals to retirees, many people are eager to fly off for a volunteer stint. How can we make sure they really do make things better?
Source: Sally Deng for NPR

Have you ever volunteered abroad?

From students and young professionals to retirees, nowadays everyone seems to be trying to make a difference in communities around the world.

But what are these efforts really achieving? Do they help — and if so, who benefits? And if they cause harm, what can we do to make things better?

All important questions, as volunteering abroad has grown tremendously. Estimates suggest the industry is now worth at least $173 billion.

The industry is also coming under increasing fire, owing to questions about the sustainabilityof volunteer efforts, reports of inappropriate care and service, and unintended impacts to economic and social systems in

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