Exploring the Experiences and Perceptions of Community Ambassadors in the New World Community
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Volunteering is a very dominant activity which is represented prominently by university students – a group which represents an important demographic for non-profit organizations and private enterprises. Participating in volunteer tourism acts as a prospect to develop relationships in accordance with volunteers and motivates consciousness-raising understandings (McGehee & Santos, 2005; Smith & Holmes, 2009). The promising growth of volunteers supporting tourism to develop a destination, engage with the local community and practise sustainability while traveling acts as a source of motivation to get involved in volunteering (Hustinx et al, 2012). Using New World Community – a Canadian social enterprise as a context, this thesis seeks to understand the experiences and perceptions of the community ambassadors during volunteering at various international communities. Reasons to participate with New World Community and to develop understanding of volunteering were drawn through 9 semi-structured interviews with repeat student volunteer travelers. This basic interpretive qualitative study revealed that the volunteers indulge in volunteering with predetermined goals such as making a difference in the community, experiencing varied cultures and showcasing kindness and care towards each other. This study also revealed from the lens of the community ambassadors that the community members showcased unconcealed actions of generosity and appreciation towards each other and the volunteers and they paid little attention to materialistic possessions. However, no acknowledgement was given to CV enhancement as a potential source of motivation to volunteer. The ability to function with a sustainable mindset in the communities was progressively carried out by the community ambassadors and the community members.
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Retnika Devasher (2017). Exploring the Experiences and Perceptions of Community Ambassadors in the New World Community. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/11827