Theme: The dangers of being local

“So at the moment you’ve got communities that’ve been decimated by conflict, people will start to move back into those conflict… with all the divisions that they will bring with them. Not just about whether I’m on that side or that side, but all the divisions the communities have. Volunteers will be in the middle of it, as part of that community, with their own feelings, allegiances, and attachments, and animosities. So how do they relate to that environment, and I think, that’s a real challenge.” (Male Staff)

  • Local volunteers are identified as offering better knowledge of affected communities and more secure access to those groups in need.
  • But local communities, particularly in conflicts and emergencies, are in a state of constant flux which means what counts as local can change rapidly.
  • Being local can bring additional risks – local volunteers may be identified with a particular group and often cannot leave the setting, unlike international aid workers.


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