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Uneven geographies of youth volunteering in Uganda: Multi-scalar discourses and practices

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posted on 2022-06-30, 10:13 authored by Matt Baillie Smith, Sarah MillsSarah Mills, Moses Okech, Bianca Fadel

This paper develops a multi-scalar geography of youth volunteering in Uganda. A growing body of research has explored the geographies of volunteering in the global North and international volunteering and development. However, despite the mainstreaming of volunteers as development actors, less attention has been paid to the unique local and national geographies of volunteering in global South settings. This paper explores how and why different ideas and practices of volunteering take shape and prominence in Uganda and how this impacts patterns of youth inclusion, inequality and opportunity. Analysing data on volunteering by young refugees in Uganda, we develop a multi-scalar geography to situate volunteering at the interface of ‘global’ volunteering policy and knowledges, aid and development architectures, youth unemployment, community institutions and local socio-economic inequalities. Through this, we reveal how programmed and audited forms of youth volunteering oriented to youth skills and employability are privileged. We show how this articulates with local inequalities to create uneven access to volunteering opportunities and practices. Through our approach, we show how a multi-scalar geography of volunteering enables us to build richer, more nuanced conceptualisations of volunteering in the global South that address the different ways global discourses, local histories, community organisations and social inequalities come together across space and time to produce uneven geographies of volunteering in particular places.

Funding

Skills acquisition and employability through volunteering by displaced youth in Uganda

Economic and Social Research Council

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History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Geoforum

Volume

134

Pages

30 - 39

Publisher

Elsevier

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Elsevier under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

2022-05-11

Publication date

2022-06-17

Copyright date

2022

ISSN

0016-7185

Language

  • en

Depositor

Dr Sarah Mills. Deposit date: 8 June 2022

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