This thesis focuses on two commercial volunteer-travel programmes in Tanzania which are organised by the British-owned agencies i-to-i and MondoChallenge. The fieldwork was conducted in Northern Tanzania from January to August 2007.
The main objectives of this thesis is to discuss the ambiguities of the volunteer-travel concept, the discrepancies between the implementation and conceptualizations of volunteer travel programmes, to present different portrayals of volunteer-travel found in the media and to contextualize the phenomenon of volunteer-travel within a wider tradition of North/South relations.
Both agencies’ volunteer-travel programmes have been conceptualized as somewhere in between “community-development” and adventure tourism. I have argued that this ambiguous position is potentially problematic, since commercial practices could be difficult to combine with notions of charity and altruism. Thus, I have indicated that volunteer-travel is a form of commercialized humanitarian assistance.