Here is the link to Colleen Fant's blog: http://colleenfant.blogspot.com/.
She has a great, new post about her feelings about another volunteering group that has been insistently trying to work at the Center and about her own conflict about volunteer work in general.
Another great blog post on the subject of volunteerism is written by Peter Luckow on the GlobeMed webiste blog. He discusses and links to a couple of great articles titled "Duffel Bag Medicine" and "To Hell With Good Intentions." I think that both do a good job of showing why it is important to be self-critical (perhaps even hyper-critical?) when engaging in global health volunteering. It's important that we understand that we do have the capacity (although inadvertently, and with the best of intentions) to cause harm to these communities. Somehow we need to find ways to connect the growing number of students eager to improve global health to responsible opportunities that channel their enthusiasm in productive directions. I think GlobeMed does a pretty good job at this, but we definitely need more organizations that look at these issues in a self-critical manner.
Hopefully over the next couple of weeks, I'll be working on a short essay about my ideas on volunteerism and its affects (both positive and negative) on the HOPE Center specifically. These are big, deep issues and it will take me a while to formulate my thoughts. I'd love to hear what your thoughts are on these issues and what you think about the two article linked from Peter's blog post.