The Spectacle of Volunteerism: Aid, Africa, and the Western Helper
MetadataShow full item record
This study emerges from the discourse on international aid effectiveness in Africa. There is a compilation of evidence that international aid has not produced significant gains in the quality of life in African nations and, in fact, has coincided with an overall decline in well-being. Following in this discourse, I propose that volunteerism represents another form of international aid whereby human ingenuity, capital, and physical labor are delivered to African nations in the form of helpful visitors from the United States and Europe. The purpose ofthis study is to explore in greater depth the impact of the Western helper. Do volunteers from the West deliver measurable benefits to the villages they visit? Or is volunteerism a spectacle that furthers a Western agenda through positive public relations?