Experiences with Volunteers... BeiYin
Last year's experience with volunteers working at FalconBlanco were mostly good, most of them were WWOOFers (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) and were staying about four weeks.
The experience of the last few months was different. We have been up to twenty people and the effectiveness of the work done went down to 10%. It turned out that these 'volunteers' had the opinion, that because they were volunteers, they only needed to do the work they liked to do, with the extreme that if there wouldn't be any work they liked, they wouldn't do anything. Just sitting in front of the monitor, playing silly games and eating sugar bars. In meetings every body had agreed to start at 10 o'clock with the daily work. They did it for a couple of days, then it went back to that what they wanted: sleeping until 10 o'clock, having breakfast, sitting there and talking, talking... "We are volunteers: we do only what we like to do!" But of course not expressing this verbally, just being resistant. We had to remind them constantly that they were here to help, then they couldn't avoid to work. But then they did it with just two fingers, if possible sitting under an umbrella in the shade, talking, talking.
We don't agree with this attitude. 'Volunteers' are supposed to do the work which is necessary. Everybody can get the information about what kind of work has to be done, before they come. When they come that means that they have voluntarily decided to participate in all the work which has to be done and they are capable to do. Of course it is possible to organize the work in a way that somebody who doesn't like certain work, can do something else. For example: If someone doesn't like to cook, then they can help with the cleaning. But if this person then doesn't want to clean up, then we come to the conclusion, that we on't want such a volunteer.
At the moment we don't have any volunteers here at FalconBlanco and we are seriously thinking about it if we want to continue accepting any.  However, we also don't want to pour out the child with the bath water, but for sure we don't want to continue like the last time.
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