Volunteers Abroad - Volunteer Teaching in Africa
Jan 22, 2010 English Language Teaching (ELT) 4011 Views
Volunteers abroad almost invariably return home feeling like they made a really worthwhile contribution to the area they visit. Rightly so, because any reputable volunteer organization will put your skills to work in the most valuable way possible. Volunteer teaching in Africa is one of the areas where help is always wanted - and just because you don't have teaching qualifications right now doesn't mean you won't be welcome.
Many volunteer teaching assistants are people in the early years of their studies, or might be gap year students who want to broaden their experiences. Others have no long term teaching ambitions but a willingness to take on new challenges and help wherever they can. It's not just classroom work either - although that's obviously important - the infrastructure needs upkeep too.
For example, recent freak storms in Livingstone in Zambia took the roof off the local school. Volunteer teaching assistants rolled up their sleeves and help put it back on again! In other examples, volunteers near Victoria Falls helped build a school wall. Volunteers in districts of Cape Town helped paint classrooms.
If you are the kind of person who would like to volunteer abroad you will find there is more to teaching in Africa than sitting in classrooms with young children. If sports education is your thing there are opportunities for you to help teach your skills with notable programs in Zanzibar, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia. In these same regions there is equal need for education of adults, not just for their personal development but also in areas of sex and contraception to reduce the impact of HIV and AIDS.
Just in case you think it's all work and no play, there will be plenty of time for you to have your own adventures in this fascinating country. There's white-water rafting on the Zambezi, surfing off the East African coast or, if quieter discoveries appeal to you, there are the famous South African vineyards and the top restaurants of Cape Town. It might be Africa but you won't get left in the middle of nowhere - unless that's what you choose to do!
This is teaching with arguably the most positive effects in the shortest time frame. Whatever your skill set, volunteer organizations will find a place for you where you can make the most difference. Whether you give volunteer teaching in Africa a couple of weeks or a couple of months, you will have enormous impact on the people you meet. You really can help change people's lives.
We're not asking for charity, we're asking for practical help. Your reward will be a tremendous sense of satisfaction, achievement and the experience of a lifetime. For up to date info on all aspects of volunteer teaching in Africa plus a free copy of "Essential African Travel Tips" visit Volunteers Abroad.