‘Incisive, insightful and honest. If you have the ambition to change the world, or your neighbourhood, this isn’t the book you want to read; it’s the book you need to read. In my two decades of working to change systems, the authors of this book come closest to a “how to” guide — radical openness, deep reflection and powerful questions to reflect on constantly.’

George Roter, former CEO and co-founder of Engineers Without Borders, Canada


‘McNicholls has surfaced reflections from authors we learn with, not just learn from. Their voices shine a light on usually hidden, and hard, lessons from volunteering – they will resonate. Prepare to laugh, cry, wince, think and reflect… and then to be able to make change better.’

Andrew Lamb, Innovation Advisor, Field Ready


‘This outstanding book asks the right questions, and is willing to explore hard answers that can lead to mutual respect and growth. It is a must read for the 21st century volunteer who wants to be more than the classical do-gooder.’

James Orbinski MD, former international president of Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Co-Founder of Dignitas International, and Professor in Global Health, Balsille School of International Affairs, Waterloo Canada   


‘An important book for anyone thinking about volunteering to work in another culture, and for those who are already there. It is about balancing help with humility, guarding against hubris, understanding the difference between ambition and responsibility and — for people in a hurry — getting to grips with the reality of time.’

Ian Smillie, author of Freedom From Want and Diamonds, former CUSO volunteer in Sierra Leone


‘Packed with insights gained from working in the field, Volunteer Voices both informs and inspires. The book’s multiple contributors, through stories and personal reflection, provide advice that is at once practical and wise. This book is a must-read for anyone in the field of development and social change.’
Jaideep Prabhu, Professor of Business and Enterprise at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge


‘Duncan McNicholl’s collection of volunteers’ experiences is an important examination of the complexities of what it means for outsiders to “help” marginalized people and communities. Social and systemic injustice has deep roots, and solutions don’t magically appear with the introduction of a new volunteer, idea, or resources, nor do they happen overnight. Volunteer Voices offers vital reflections for do-gooders to expand our hearts and minds as we find the courage to ask sometimes perplexing, frustrating, uncomfortable — but always liberating — questions of ourselves.’

Jennifer Lentfer, creator of and Director of Communications at Thousand Currents


‘A deep introspective journal of development volunteers, before, during and after their assignments. Use this as your guide for inspiration and understanding of why you should volunteer.’

Herman Fung, VSO Malawi, Friends of Malawi Association


‘This brought back memories from my own journey reflecting on my motivations, the realities on the ground and lessons learnt as a volunteer.’

Regina Junio, VSO Malawi, climate change specialist, teacher and ex-VSO volunteer