Embracing Vulnerability in an Age of Fear

Recurrent issues of civil unrest, terrorism and natural disasters have understandably led to sending governments and agencies placing an increased emphasis on volunteer security. An overemphasis on these considerations, however, can serve to distance volunteers from their national counterparts and reduce stakeholder participation. Conversely, programs which encourage volunteers to understand and embrace their vulnerability result in mutually enriching and challenging relationships which enhance community ownership of both the development program and the volunteer’s security.

This paper was presented at the Volunteering Futures Forum, co-hosted with the University of Wollongong.