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Volunteering in Africa

canpuff28

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Thorn Tree Refugee
 
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Joined: February 6th, 2011
Location: Townsville, Australia

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  • Added on: February 11th, 2011
Hey everyone!

I have recently decided that I would like to volunteer in Africa! I'm having trouble finding some groups which relate to what I'm looking for though. I would love to be able to help in any way that does not require qualifications such as medicine and teaching (although I would love to teach english if I didn't need an education degree). I'm also not interested in any groups affiliated with any religion. I have already contact Volta Aid Foundation, but would just like to see what else is out there. Can anyone out there help me out or put me in the right direction? Thanks!

PS: Very willing to go for 1 or more years!

on_ancient_road

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Lost in Place
 
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Joined: November 6th, 2005
Location: Colorado

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  • Added on: February 11th, 2011
Check out this school in Ghana, http://www.segaschool.com. I taught there a few years ago.
The founder Godwin is a terrific person and I totally enjoyed my staying there. Since there is
no agency involved, what you give goes directly to the school.

Lucky Luke

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  • Added on: February 11th, 2011
Interestingly, I had just finished reading a really interesting article about the possible negative effects of volunteering when I came across your post.

Before you pay to volunteer abroad, think of the harm you might do
- Ian Birrell The Observer

I'm definitely not saying don't do it but I think he raises some really good points to take into consideration.

His closing para:
The desire to engage with the world is laudable, as is the desire to volunteer. But we need to tread more carefully. Unless we have time and transferable skills, we might do better to travel, trade and spend money in developing countries. The rapid growth of "voluntourism" is like the rapid growth of the aid industry: salving our own consciences without fully examining the consequences for the people we seek to help. All too often, our heartfelt efforts to help only make matters worse.


I guess the challenge is to find a way to good without doing harm. Tricky.

L.

canpuff28

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Thorn Tree Refugee
 
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Joined: February 6th, 2011
Location: Townsville, Australia

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  • Added on: February 12th, 2011
Thanks for the link Lucky Luke! I've heard of voluntourism, and I understand that any volunteering must be sustainable and has to allow the people to take something away from it so that one day they don't need volunteers. This is another dilemma I've recently found. I don't want to continue this trend of voluntourism. Further help would be amazing!



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