The first week of February marks International Development Week (IDW) – a time to explore and celebrate the difference volunteers are making around the world. In honor of this year’s event, Softchoice Cares – an employee-led philanthropic program focused on furthering computer literacy – has produced a video documentary of their 2012 trip to Bali. The team’s mission was to install new computer labs on behalf of seven Balinese orphanages managed by the Widhya Asih Foundation. But as the group learned, a ‘hand-out’ isn’t necessarily the same as a ‘hand-up’.
The documentary explores the highs and lows of the two-week project as well as the role volunteering plays in getting a deeper understanding of how best to help communities in need. The film also examines the difference between ‘aid’ and ‘development’ and the troubling dynamic that is often created between ‘giver’ and ‘receiver’. There are valuable insights here for individual volunteers as well as for organizations seeking to make a more meaningful and sustainable difference through their own corporate giving initiatives.