Global News | International Visitors

Global “voluntourism” industry sparks concerns among researchers, humanitarian organizations for lack of regulation and sustainability-mindedness
  • One researcher indicates as many as 10 million are spending $2 billion each year to participate in service-oriented travel programs.
  • With no regulatory agency setting quality standards for organizations, there is limited accountability for projects undertaken, which can include quality-sensitive work like construction projects, childcare, and education.
  • Critics warn that the focus on altruism rather than skill can have negative economic impacts on destinations despite good intentions, with short-term, profit-driven solutions displacing long-term strategies for sustainable development.

“There’s this idea that is in-built in voluntourism that we in the West have the knowledge and the skills to make a difference, we have a right to make a difference. … It doesn’t even matter if we’re unskilled, it’s just the good will that matters because we’re somehow bonding anyway.”

Read the full story at the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

(Image Credit: Aly Song/Reuters)

Kenya News | Girls

Kenyan mother sues government for denying safe access to abortion following daughter’s botched backstreet procedure
  • The 15-year-old girl sought the abortion following her rape by an older man, but complications arose that have led to ongoing health complications.
  • While abortion is permitted in cases of emergencies involving maternal health under Kenya’s 2010 constitution, the state has banned training for government healthcare providers and harassed and charged other doctors.
  • Unsafe abortions account for 35% of maternal deaths in Kenya (well above the 13% global average), with around 2,600 women per year dying in hospitals after having attempted to get an abortion elsewhere.

“The Kenyan government is allowing thousands of women in Kenya to needlessly die or suffer severe complications every year due to unsafe abortion, and it must be held accountable.”

Read the full story at Reuters.

U.S. & India News | Indian

First Indian-born player drafted into the NBA by Dallas Mavericks
  • Satnam Singh Bhamara, 19, was introduced to basketball by his father while growing up in Ballo Ke, a Punjab village.
  • An early standout due to his extraordinary size (7’2″ and 290 lbs), Bhamara trained at the Indian government-funded Ludhiana Basketball Academy before traveling from India to Florida on scholarship at the age of 14 to the renowned IMG Academy, a player development program.
  • In a league that has 85 international players from 39 countries, Canadian Sim Bullhar became the first player of Indian descent to play earlier in the year when he played in three games for the Sacramento Kings.

“I feel good about it because in India there are a lot of Indian players who could have a chance to come here and play in college and high schools. … I think I can open the door for everyone to come here and play. So it’s good for India and all the players. It’s good for me and my country.”

Read the full story at the Hindustan Times.

(Image Credit: NBA/Twitter photo, via the Hindustan Times)