At Skilled Impact we know that: skills + need = impact. And that’s what we’re all about. We stand out from other organisations, because we do not offer experiences that only focus on the benefits to the volunteer. After working in the sector for almost a decade and witnessing the positive and negative effects that different types of volunteer placements can have, our founder Anna Moran decided to apply her learning and experience to set up a responsible volunteering organisation.
“For many voluntourism placements, the development is focused more on the volunteer than the impact of the work carried out. At Skilled Impact, we strongly believe in learning as part of the volunteer’s journey, but not at the expense of the beneficiaries or partner organisation. This is why we focus on assessing the needs of the organisations we work with and matching them with volunteers who have skills that meet their requirements. By assessing the needs of the organisations on an ongoing basis, we ensure that all placements are sustainable, relevant and impactful.” – Anna Moran, Founder.
The use of images and language
As a responsible volunteering organisation, we are moving away from ‘voluntourism’ and want to avoid the pitfalls of this practice. We therefore follow strict guidelines not only when developing skilled placements and volunteer and partner management, but also in terms of marketing our opportunities.
When it comes to marketing volunteering placements, we are choosing to use language that focuses on the impact that can be made through sharing skills with our partners. We clearly identify the NGOs and social enterprises as the main change makers, as they understand the local environment, local issues and circumstances best. It’s our partners who can identify community needs and approaches to tackling them best. As a skilled volunteer you can therefore make an impact through supporting the work of a partner and bringing your expertise to areas where they have identified a need.
As a responsible volunteering organisation, Skilled Impact avoids images which depict international volunteers as heroes who are ‘saving’ the local population. We also stay away from using photos of extreme suffering to attract volunteers to our placements. We represent local communities with dignity and only use images we have collected from the placements ourselves. Furthermore, our messages do not involve phrases such as ‘needy people’, ‘save people’, ‘lift people out of poverty’ or ‘saving lives’. We know that it is unrealistic that international volunteers can solve global issues, even though some voluntourism organisations use this as a selling point.
What we’re all about as a responsible volunteering organisation
A world where everyone applied their skills to make a positive change.
To support sustainable development and cross cultural learning through sustainable, impactful and responsible volunteer placements.