• Humanitarian Travel or Voluntourism? •
HorizonCosmopolite offers international programs that reflect the principles of solidarity tourism or ethical tourism, as defined by the Tourism Intelligence Network. We offer experiences abroad, which aim to:
- Ensure a fair distribution of the profits with the Global South populations who are directly impacted;
- Strengthen local societies through dynamic and autonomous economic networks;
- Facilitate intercultural encounters;
- Develop local resources and promote heritage conservation;
- Organize local stakeholders within the economic solidarity network;
- Play a role in educating travellers from the Global North;
- Minimize the impact on the natural environment and resources;
Are you interested in volunteering abroad? Discovering a new country and its culture? Building connections with a local community by taking part in their daily life? You are intrigued by a solidarity tourism experience? Well this is exactly what HorizonCosmpolite is offering! Do you want to deliver emergency aid, water, food and medical care to the survivors of natural disasters, epidemics and armed conflict? If yes, then you are better suited for humanitarian aid, and this is not within our mandate. It’s specifically for this reason, that we do not use the term “humanitarian” to define our projects.
What is voluntourism?
Voluntourism is a buzzword that merges volunteer and tourism. It’s mostly used in Europe and there isn’t a French word equivalent. Although our participants are free to visit touristic places during their free time, it is not representative of HorizonCosmopolite’s activities, since it defines the fusion of volunteer work and tourism. We have created our projects in symbiosis with local organizations well establish in their environment. We do not consider volunteer implication with local communities as a touristic activity and our relationship with our local partners is essential.
The cultural immersion and the intercultural exchange are the heart of our projects. We make sure that the cost paid by the participant to our partners abroad profit the community, that our interns do not take local jobs and do not carry out work above their capacities. The participants are going to support local autonomous projects. The pre-departure formation and the mentoring offered by HorizonCosmopolite aim to promote awareness of the intercultural issues as well as the international power relationship rather then voluntourism. In that respect, we prefer to use terms such as “cultural immersion”, “volunteer work”, and “international solidarity” to define our activities.
Is this an international cooperation trip?
Technically speaking, we are not a cooperation or international development organization. The majority of our projects are hosted in “developing” countries and while sending volunteers is certainly a form of cooperation, our activities are not within the framework of Global Affairs Canada. We do not receive funding from the government and we are not considered a non-profit organization or charity. Volunteers are not recruited based on particular skills or knowledge. Rather, we focus on volunteers that want to gain an experience through exchange, discovery and learning. First and foremost, we offer intercultural immersion experiences. Our local partners in developing countries are often aid organizations or non-profits; therefore the programs we offer most closely resemble cooperation experiences. Taking this into consideration, the majority of our programs allow participants to experience an introduction to the world of international cooperation!
Visit our website to learn more about all of the projects we offer!