Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Lynee Connolly


The following capstone paper takes a critical look at international volunteer programs and the potential negative consequences these programs may inadvertently have on the host community. The current volunteer Co-Director program at the International Humanity Foundations (IHF) is an archetype of this phenomenon. This paper examines the ways in which IHF falls short in achieving its mission and warns of the possible neo-colonial impact its Western volunteers may be having on the local communities around IHF’s centers.

The International Humanity Foundation Co-Director Training Program, Indonesia has been created in an effort strengthen IHF’s existing program by minimizing any negative impacts IHF may unintentionally have on its host communities. This program focuses on 1) redesigning IHF’s recruitment strategy in order to find more qualified volunteers; 2) developing a comprehensive training program to ensure those volunteers are well-prepared for the tasks they are preforming and well-informed about the social implications of their presence in the community; and 3) creating an evaluation strategy to monitor the effectiveness of the training program over time.

The strategies used in this program have been tailored to meet the needs of IHF; however, the theoretical foundations and methods of this program could be applied within the larger context of international volunteer abroad programs worldwide.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | International and Comparative Education | Nonprofit Administration and Management | Other Educational Administration and Supervision | Teacher Education and Professional Development