How to become our Researcher
We constantly need people to provide us with information from inside Burma. Keeping you and your fellow travelers up-to-date about places to visit and suggestions about how you, as a traveler, can help the people of Burma is a tremendous task. We are a non-profit organization and therefore, unfortunately, do not have the resources to employ researchers in Burma.
Therefore we need you!
Combine your travels with doing something useful – this is your chance to contribute to change. Tourists are often blamed for being on a hedonistic, selfish, fun-seeking (ego-) trip. If you research for us while you stay in Burma, you can have both: a fulfilling travel experience for yourself and helping us to help the people of Burma. We are sorry, but we cannot pay you for your effort.
We need you for the following:
(A) Write a travel story and send it to us to be published on the website. Especially useful would be if you include information on these issues:
- Did you encounter any places or situations which are already negatively affected by tourism? Why and how?
- Do you have any practical tips how tourists can help inside of Burma? For example, did you come across any social community projects in Burma, such as a women group selling handicrafts, or a traditional theatre group, which would benefit from being visited by tourists? How could tourists who visit help (e.g. donations; entry fee; telling other travelers about their cause)? If you suggest that tourists could volunteer, please make sure you know about the visa situation. Local organizations could get into trouble by accepting foreign volunteers without the appropriate visa (which is incredibly difficult to obtain).
(B) Research about tourism businesses we can recommend. URGENTLY HELP IS NEEDED!
We need you to research about tourism businesses we can recommend. These would be businesses where your money goes straight into the pockets of people in need, of local families, and not the government / military. We also would like to recommend businesses that are a good employer to their local staff and support the community. But be careful! Do not endanger yourself or the locals you ask questions! Please do only use ‘positive’ and sensitive questions which do not make your host uncomfortable.
Use these questions as a guideline and send us your information:
- Introduce yourself as a volunteer researcher about ‘responsible’ tourism and ASK if you may pose a few questions.
- Does your business support any poor people inside Burma? For example, do you employ and provide training to poor members of the community or support a social project?
- Does your staff receive any training or other additional benefits?
- May I ask you who owns the business (write down the name. DO NOT ASK IF S/HE IS GOVERNMENT OR MILITARY! ONLY ASK ‘WHO OWNS THIS PLACE’!!!). Do not probe any further if your host is reluctant to tell you who is the owner.
(C) Update our information about visa, no-go zones, dangers, etc. You can comment directly on our website under the articles, or you send us your information.