Voluntourism is all over social media. It appears to be the perfect tool to showcase your adventurous, humanitarian side. We follow Dutch 21 y/o Mitchell on his quest for world citizenship and purpose. The world of a volunteer turns out to be one full of new encounters and discoveries, but what’s the truth behind that cute new profile picture?

  • Loeke de Waal
    Far away from house
  • Steffi Posthumus
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Visual sociology, Travel documentary, ethnographic
  • Runtime:
    58 minutes 49 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 1, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Belgium, Netherlands, South Africa
  • Language:
    Dutch, English, Xhosa
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Loeke de Waal

Loeke de Waal is a documentary filmmaker who both directs and films her productions. She studied Journalism in The Netherlands, graduating top of her class in 2012 with a short documentary on the local house and techno scene (House Away From Home). Since 2013 she has been working with Steffi Posthumus (production) on the documentary #doinggood. In 2014 Loeke started her company Go Team Productions with the mission of making socially engaged and provocative, but accessible films and videos. She is known for her revealing style of filming by staying as close to her subject as possible. She is passionate about finding out what makes a person tick and why they do what they do. In doing that she has an uncompromising devotion to quality and always believes in what others might deem impossible.

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Director Statement

What started with a profound fascination with the voluntourism phenomenon grew into a full-blown mission. Because why do young people travel the globe en masse to “make a difference”? And who benefits most from this type of volunteer work?
At the time of Loeke de Waal's high school graduation, voluntourism was an up and coming industry. But currently, it is the fastest growing sector within tourism. And like almost all of her productions, this project too started with the discovery of a subject that sparked Loeke's passion immediately and naturally evoked discussion.
#doinggood is a must-watch documentary, because it is a version of this story that has not been told honestly like this before. It provides an inside look into the world of these young volunteers and shows their drive to want to do good, but at the same time their ability to critically self reflect on what they are actually there to do. In #doinggood the local community also gets a chance to honestly tell their side of the story, to let us know how they really feel about these young volunteers coming in from all over the world and fill their Facebook profile with cute pictures.
In the end, volunteering abroad is not good or bad, because like life, it is not black or white, it is complex. But it is – finally – time to take a critical look at all these good intentions and assess the impact voluntourism does or does not have on local communities all over the developing world.