Voluntourists’ responses to Love Binti

在文檔中 台灣赴非志工旅遊之健康促進與反思-愛女孩計畫個案研究 - 政大學術集成 (頁 65-70)

4. Findings

4.3. Voluntourists’ responses to Love Binti

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beneficiaries’ desire to improve their community conditions can be limited or require a long term visit of the voluntourists and organizations when they can enhance economic prosperity of the community development at certain degree, e.g. the voluntourists bought the daily goods for the visited slum huts family members that can last for a month.

The other incident of the organization improving the community development is the utilization of the emptied shoe container transformed as the school for school kids in Mountain Elgon. “We want to make use of the container by turning it into the computer room. Therefore, the students can be trained with practical technique skills to make their own living and hopefully, turnover the disastrous condition in this rural countryside” (H2).

Participating personally as the voluntourist, the researcher is asked by several of the private community school principles for money to renovate old facilities or construct new water tanks for cleaner drinking water: “I want to give the children a better schooling environment by providing them clean water source, brighter classroom, so on and so for.”

With all of the principals received proper education sponsored by Step 30 and Forgotten People Connection, this concept, or request, underlines that the sense of community has been recreated through education. However, the voluntourists were strongly discouraged and restricted not to donate the money directly to them since negative impacts may occurred such as the money does not go to the students for betterment. “We will ask them to submit a project plan before they ask for money, so that they would do their best to figure out the most feasible way themselves,” replied by H2, the founder of the Forgotten People Connection, working closely with Step 30.

4.3 Voluntourists’ responses to Love Binti

Responding to the third Research Question set at socio-structural level, the researcher found that voluntourists are not passive or lack of countermeasures to treat the beneficiaries in time when facing the challenges in their works. There are six stages emerged in the volunteering process that has been discussed by Jackson et al.,

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(2011): quitting, staying and suffering in silence, staying and seeking revenge, talking to others inside the organization, complaining to external authorities; and talking to friends. From the interviews, it seems that the voluntourists response positively towards their transformation in the stages. However different from the theories Jackson proposed, the researcher finds the quitting is more of skepticism of the newly established NGO, while the second stage is filled with structural suggestions from the voluntourists to improve the social conditions in the depleted country. The rest stages for the voluntourists, either to criticize or to compliment about the organization, are helping to increase visibility for Love Binti or Step 30 as much as they can.

4.3.1 Voluntourists complexity: volunteering or sightseeing?

The voluntourists were invited to define their role within the voluntary spectrum (see Appendix Question 10) before and after the voyage overseas in the interviews. The spectrum is on the scale from 1 (volunteer)to 10(travel), the researcher has deduced into the following bar:

The voluntourists were more inclined to rate their purpose as closer to volunteering before leaving Taiwan, but the score as increased considerably leaning to a “travel-like journey” after came back from Kenya. There is a limited realization of my voluntourist role. But I do not think we should drop the travel itinerary since we

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have traveled far to Africa, so a little portion of sightseeing does not harm,” said VT1.

VT3 also added that “I do not think touring is important before departure. But after coming back to Taiwan, seeing my families’ reactions to the pictures taken in the national reserve, I change my mind” (2016, May 23). Phone. The complexity situated in the responses of removing the sightseeing tour as what some student-targeted health service group do or keeping the itinerary since it is necessary for the voluntourists themselves to fulfill the identity as still being the “tourists” in the far reached country from the voluntourists point of view. VT2 answered the question of differentiating the socioeconomic background by saying:

“our focal point should still be volunteering. The difference between us and the student-formed voluntary group is that we are mostly functioning member of the society, using a fair sheer of time to explore the country is somewhat appropriate.”

It appeared that most of the suggestions from the voluntourists mentioned in the above few paragraphs are actually transferred to the organizers though it does not appear to be a solution to discuss the issue with the organizers since the unavoidable power dynamics within the voluntourists and the staff hinder them from taking those ideas into consideration immediately. However, what satisfying fact for the voluntourists are that finding a place to volunteer is also a good way to meet like-minded friends while investing in a cause you care about.

4.3.2 Voluntourists’ take on money spent to Love Binti

To become a voluntourist, one’s pocket has to be deep for voluntourism demands hefty fee. Besides airfare, the voluntourists also need to pay their living, trafficking, dinning, personal expenses, and so on. The practice entity, in the name of NGO or other forms, is besieged with money constraint that are mostly donation based. Consequently, the nature of being voluntourist stirs the requests for making

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each expense clear. However, the informants altogether criticize the opaque money flow they could not help but feeling kept from in the interviews as VT1 described her feeling “there are times I feel the organizer receive the money donated from voluntourists, bring us to Kenya; then their job is done. The small amount of donation from my friends remitted to them are not given any receipt yet” (2016, May 13).

Personal interview. VT2’s response echoed that “I do not have problem donating the 30,000 NTD on the website as it being the requirement to join the voluntary group.

But which part is the money used? in Taiwan or in Kenya? They should keep us informed on the actual spending” (2016, May 26). Personal interview. On the other hand, VT4 replied earnestly “I do not think the money flow is transparent on their [Love Binti, Step30] website or anywhere else. Transparency is very important when public money is received and should be tracked somehow; or else, it will be the pitfall stumbling their back in the long run” (2016, May 19). Personal interview.

Another discovery from the voluntourists was that VT2 utilized her business specialty to utilize the business model she knew well by donating the money she earned from the fabrics bought in Kenya with doubled price when designed into clothes, simultaneously. Other voluntourists keep the enthusiasm in promoting Love Binti and Step 30 to their networks that formed as the butterfly effect to urge more Taiwanese joining the Step 30 family. They, the voluntourists, are the best advocates for the program to encourage the organization’s sustainability.

4.3.3 Voluntourists take on public relations of Love Binti

Public relations in the health care organization “shares the goal of building long-term relationships and increasing organizational profit with stakeholders”

(Thompson, 2014). As making impact via social media, the vital strategic area to decide the organization’s success, the researcher finds that the integrated marketing communication (IMC) of Love Binti, Step 30 are unified to gain exposure and

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influence of the organization. The five communication tools include advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, and personal selling.

A sheer number of examples are illustrated to describe for the fast growth of Love Binti analyzing from the secondary data on-and-offline: LB project initiators were interviewed by various media houses in Taiwan, such as Next magazine, Chinese Television System, United Daily Nation, Taiwan Public Television Service Online, and Taiwan Today. Each broadcasting reached thousands views and appeared on the top when the keywords are typed in. Besides, the campaign had caught the attention of Chou Wen-chin ( ), a prizewinning Taiwanese director, to make a documentary about Step 30’s aid efforts. The persuasive campaign of reusable pad making and second hand shoes donation embed and deepen the interaction with viewers to take actions. “I read the itinerary and what LB is about on Facebook before I decided to join. They create many Facebook events calling out for students to join. It’s very approachable. I also know Step 30 through my friend’s shared post on Facebook.” VT1. (2016, May 13). Personal interview.Nearly all the voluntourists and organizational stakeholders came across the information through Facebook, the social media where Step 30 founder initiated shoe collecting event has gone viral, for it can be approached easier and faster than traditional mass media messages. Besides from the voluntourists, the staff also comes to know Step 30 on Facebook saying “I am in the same church with Step 30 founder and that is when I started to follow Step 30 on Facebook. Gradually I gained interests in what they are doing, so I am now working full time with them; as Love Binti is just one of the many projects we are working on”

H6. (2016, March). Personal interview. VT4 further shared her behavior change of sparing more time to volunteer at the warehouse since the Kenya voluntary trip that “I knew Love Binti through the shared post on Step 30’s Facebook page. After coming

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back from the trip, I have been back to the warehouse five times to volunteer or donate” (2016, May 19). Personal interview.

For sales promotion, Love Binti has made their own sample package of reusable sanitary pads selling to enterprises or personal as donations. Though it had been criticized by the voluntourists three hundred NTD per package is a bit costly;

however, it seems that buying the pad is a show of support of Love Binti’s unique intervention method enabling Kenyan women and girls to live freely and gain rights in their life. Social media usage has assisted Love Binti connect to other like-minded individuals easily and spread its messages widely. However, the increased exposure of the organization upsurges the probability of making mistakes, so the content should be “carefully crafted and shared according to the interests and desires of connected stakeholders” as well as “transparent for its policy or behavior can be easily captured, posted, and shared” (ibid). Additionally, the voluntourists had hinted the exposure for Love Binti is not yet enough, and it would be more probable if the religion frame will be dropped to interact with other organizations in Kenya that are working on the same project. VT1, 2, 3, 4. (2016, May). Personal interview.

在文檔中 台灣赴非志工旅遊之健康促進與反思-愛女孩計畫個案研究 - 政大學術集成 (頁 65-70)