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It's Not About Me

4.92  ·  Rating details ·  24 ratings  ·  18 reviews
"I realised that for organisations to be sustainable, they needed to be run by local staff. And for local staff to run organisations, they needed to be empowered."

When Sally Hetherington was 25, she packed up all her belongings and bought a one-way ticket to Cambodia, determined to make a difference. But when she got there, the situation on the ground was grave. Sally had
Paperback, 332 pages
Published May 29th 2019 by Elephant House Press
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Simon Matuzelski
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Development is intrinsically human, every aspect of development involves human lives. I really feel this fact is strongly reflected in Sally’s book, a book that itself if wholly about being human. This is even reflected in the name of the organisation discussed throughout the book, ‘Human and Hope Association’. Sally’s genuine reflections on the ups and downs of her time in Cambodia is a heartening yet challenging read about her efforts to close the gap between good intentions and good developme ...more
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have read Sally's book in one weekend and absolutely loved it and shared it for my family to read. I admit we have fell under the traps of voluntourism ourselves and we knew it was not exactly right. Sally genuinely shares her stories with great humour and expertise. At the end of the read, you will feel comfortable being even more generous with a true impact for Cambodia, any countries in the world and any causes you are passionate about.
Mikki Diep
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have read the book twice and really loved every single chapter of it. Very educational and also very relate-able. It has helped me think about all my future travels and be more mindful about where my money is spend and how to empower locals for their long term benefit, especially in developing countries.
I really admire the author, Sally's determination and resilient. She had a goal in mind and she followed it till the end overcoming most problems that others would have conformed to.
Kim Napier
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved Sally’s book so much I became an Ambassador for Human and Hope. It’s not just a manifesto documenting her time in Cambodia and the successful efforts to empower locals to alleviate poverty but also an educational tool kickstarting the conversation surrounding the growing trend of voluntourism. Sally is as generous as she is passionate and as smart as she is genuine. A fabulous read for anyone who wants to travel and make ethical choices when giving back to the communities you are visitin ...more
Thai San
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is such an excellent book to read. Recommend to someone who wants to learn more about being an ethical traveller and the negative impact of voluntourism and learn more about how to better support the charities work in the low-income country in term of empowering and sustainable approach for the local people. This book is also great for someone who wants to learn more about the facts behind Cambodia and the love and inspired story of Sally, the author who spent almost five years in Cambodia.
Andy Radice
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Very interesting perspective on fighting poverty.
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the new amazing book that describe life of volunteering in developing country as in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. It inform the negative impact and positive outcome. I like this book SO much. It provide many good advice.
Thanks the writer Sally Hetherington,
Seyla Thoeun
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book that I loved reading.
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I would give this book 6 stars if I could. A thought provoking read about the dangers and pitfalls of overseas voluntourism. Sally combines her knowledge and experience from her time in Cambodia setting up a locally run NGO, to convey how well meaning tourists are contributing to the disempowerment of the local communities of developing counties. A must read for anyone who may be thinking about volunteering at schools/orphanages overseas, I guarantee after finishing this book, your mind will be ...more
Paul Hegarty
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“It’s Not About Me” is a must read for anyone interested in voluntourism. Although I have never been a “voluntourer”, I am guilty as charged when it comes to my actions as a visitor of low income countries. That is, I was one of those people who thought I was helping by giving money to begging children. How wrong I was. This book has taken me from ignorance to knowledge, and I applaud Sally for investing so much of herself in the quest to educate. In addition to the valuable learnings in this bo ...more
Jennifer Webster
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book highlighted how so often we go about 'helping' the wrong way. In aiming to support people or developing countries that we may believe need a hand out, we overlook the fact that all they really need is a hand up.

Teaching a country or community to become self-sufficient is the only way we should be planning to do helpful work, whether it's overseas or even here at home. The best thing we can do as tourists is provide seed funding for overseas programs that enable a community to become en
Georgina Fenton
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book to any one travelling to developing countries, especially those who are interested in volunteering overseas.

It is incredibly insightful book, from someone who has lived and worked in Cambodia for many years. Her experience is inspiring and helps navigate how we can all contribute to alleviating poverty in an ethical and sustainable way.

It’s an easy read that leaves a big impact!

Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who has the heart to make a difference in any kind of community to help REALLY needs to read this!! It’s changed my entire philosophy of what it means to help another community, especially one in a developing nation. Sometimes we think we’re doing good, when we’re really not. All it takes is insight and awareness which this book has given me, as well as a few laughs along the way. A very GOOD READ INDEED!! :-)
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it. Not only is it an inspiring story about a young woman who gave up the creature comforts of life in Australia to work tirelessly for a small Cambodian community; but it also educates the reader about the harmful effects of voluntourism in developing countries. A must read for anyone considering travelling abroad to volunteer, or anyone with an interest in sustainable development.
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A true story from a poor country with a tragic recent past, this book illustrates a pathway of hope and opportunity for locals who may otherwise have been doing it tough from the day they were born.
Told from the perspective of an outsider willing to help, then finding shared humanity transcending all differences.
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in a week. Loved how it made you think and re evaluated ur beliefs on how to help people. It’s a great educational tool. I recommended this book to all my family and friends and their loving it too.
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very insightful, poignant, heartfelt and eye-opening read. Highly recommend!
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