Does my volunteer program actually add value?

By Torsten


August 10, 2016

Things turning bad today. Someone commented on my Africa travel video on youtube saying that she added it to her 10 must see videos before traveling Africa.

So I check out her website and came across an article she wrote about volunteering. Or better said, why you shouldn’t volunteer.

She’s comparing volunteering vs traveling in Africa. And of course, volunteering looses on all her points.

And I think it’s true in general. When you travel a country you contribute to the economy and small businesses. While when you volunteer you might bring things and give them for free. So in our case, our children get used to free stuff. Though, Mama Dolfine is strict and makes sure the kids take care of things.

Anyhow, the simple comparison makes it clear that for most cases you are better of to travel. You will learn more about the culture and country and get the whole adventure.

But that’s not for anyone. And not anyone feels safe to just start traveling in Africa. That’s understandable. For those we offer a good place to start their first time experience. A safe place but not a “golden cage”. You are still in the middle of the real life.

I think this article effected me even more, because we just came across the annoying visa question again. There is no visa to do volunteering. It’s either tourist or working. Or a missionary visa for religious long-term stuff.

It’s annoying for us to operate in this grey zone. Almost feels like they don’t want our help and we keep struggling to help them.

We don’t want to get in trouble with the (irrational) system. But if we would just stop our work, the center wouldn’t survive long.

It’s a difficult question.

Another one is, how good is it really for the children to get meet so many people for short times? And again, all the free stuff.

I think we’ve to put it into a different perspective. Would those kids be better off without us?

From what I know today, definitely no.

That means we add value even though we have to fight for it.

Are there other ways to help them the same way? Yes for sure. But I’ve my own problems to care about too and all this is just adding to my general confusion. I would love to come up with a better idea but for now there is none. At least none that is far enough developed.

This all sucks. We just want to help and in return we have to struggle with all kinds of BS. I’m tired of it and I know my team will reach this point too. Then what?


That’s why I want to make money. Big money. I just want to be able to pay for things, not to worry to make it to the next month over and over again. It would also help me to get into networks of successful people who too, could help to support the children.

Like this we wouldn’t need volunteers and have no legal risks. I’m so tired of all this. I’ve to take care of myself first before I can take care of others. Otherwise I might not be able to help anyone anymore in the very near future..

Not good.

Talk soon,


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