Voluntourism was changed by the pandemic, and some would say for the better. Many organizations had to become more flexible in terms of allowing remote volunteer service, given the inability of volunteers to travel. UK student Becca Morrison ended up volunteering remotely from the UK for a nonprofit group in Malawi in order to complete her graduation requirements; it went so well the organization had her back this summer as a paid intern working remotely. Habitat for Humanity also engaged with volunteers differently, after the pandemic forced the cancellation of travel. Dave Kovac of Oregon State University got his international service students engaged via a Habitat “virtual build” in Vietnam. Over 10 weeks, Kovac and his students met weekly to fundraise, learn about Vietnamese culture, get updates from local staff about the project’s progress and speak to the family whose house was being built. Through these experiences, nonprofits are realizing they are not as dependent on cross-border volunteers as they previously thought.

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