Volunteering doesn’t make the world a better place

[D]oes volunteering really help, or does it simply prop up broken systems? Is there a better way?

“It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the air force has to hold a cake stall to buy a bomber.” This is as true now as it was in the 1970s. Why?

A lot of the volunteering we do is inefficient. Schools ask that parents bake cakes to be sold to the children of other parents who have baked cakes. Most school events involve sausages on white bread and fizzy drinks, which is not recommended as a healthy diet. Chocolates are sold in staffrooms to raise money for the children’s hospital. Rubber wristbands are sold by charities to raise awareness of illnesses. A fundraiser for the environment can sell unhealthy food one week, and a fundraiser for health can damage the environment the next. This is inefficient. Any effort to help one system should not be feeding into the brokenness of another.

Volunteering is not valued. . . . Volunteering is expected of people who are regarded as having the time to do it, that is, people who do care work at home, looking after their families, primarily women. Because women do care work their labour is not valued. If a job is valued it is rewarded with pay.

http://www.smh.com.au/comment/volunteering-doesnt-make-the-world-a-better-place-20180104-h0dd25.html

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