MSU alumna discusses volunteer tourism

Dr. Andrea Freidus recently published a piece in The Conversation, an online not-for-profit media outlet. Her piece entitled “Volunteer tourism: what’s wrong with it and how can it be changed,” came out on November 8th.

Here is a small excerpt from her piece: “Volunteer tourism, or voluntourism, is an emerging trend of travel linked to “doing good”. Yet these efforts to help people and the environment have come under heavy criticism – I believe for good reason.

Voluntourists’ ability to change systems, alleviate poverty or provide support for vulnerable children is limited. They simply don’t have the skills. And they can inadvertently perpetuate patronising and unhelpful ideas about the places they visit.” To read the full article, click here.

Dr. Andrea Freidus received her PhD. from the Department of Anthropology at MSU in 2011 entitled “Raising Malawi’s Children: AIDS Orphans and a Politics of Compassion” under the guidance of her chair, Dr. Anne Ferguson. Currently, Dr. Freidus is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at University of North Carolina, Charlotte. She specializes in applied and medical anthropology. She also has an Masters of Public Health in global public health. She has worked in Latin America, Africa, and South Florida. Her research has looked at the rise of grassroots transnational organizations targeting aid to orphans in Malawi, southern Africa. She explores the emerging global connections among volunteers, donors, development workers, program organizers and the directors associated with these organizations and the children they serve.