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Title: Exploring unknown territories the Motivations, expectations and actual experiences of young people volunteering in the Global South
Authors: Caruana, Michelle
Keywords: Developing countries
Voluntary Workers
Young adults
Motivation (Psychology)
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: people volunteering in the global South for the first time. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with three participants prior their departure, to methodically investigate their expectations and motivations to engage in this voluntary experience abroad. After the volunteering experience, a second interview was held with the same participants to unfold and explore their experience in the global South. The participants joined different volunteering organisations in Malta, each of which regularly organises volunteering experiences for small groups to countries in the global South. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. From the findings of the first interviews - prior the voluntary experience - five superordinate themes emerged: (i)Volunteering: Participants’ Definition, (ii)Volunteering: Motivations, Drives and Incentives; (iii)The Element of Trust; (iv)Emotional Roller Coaster and (v)Expectations and Predictions. Results have shown that young volunteers have expectations from the volunteering experience. Furthermore, the same expectations generate a vast range of emotions which mainly derive from not knowing what is going to happen. The second part of this research study presents the post voluntary experience interviews which were analysed under nine super-ordinate themes: (i)Homecoming; (ii)Challenges Faced; (iii)Emotions and Feelings; (iv)Skills-Sets; (v)The Element of Participation; (vi)Change in Motivation; (vii)Meaningful Experience and Long-term Effect; (viii)Doing it Again” and finally, (ix) Recommending International Volunteering Experiences to Young People. Here again, participants experienced fluctuating emotions during the experience. Overall, the participants expressed that it was a “life changing” and “meaningful experience”. Literature suggests that volunteering in the global South promotes social, personal and global development. International volunteering can experiences provide the time and space for young people to become agents of change. Nevertheless, if the young person is not well prepared, the experience could also lead to emotional distress. Through the insight of this study, I hope that volunteering finds a firm place in the field of youth work, where the ultimate goal is the holistic development of youths.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacSoWYCS - 2015

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