A new initiative by the Canadian International Learning Foundation has set out to overcome what Canadians say is the single biggest barrier to becoming a volunteer: lack of time.
“Change the world in five hours a week” is the mantra of the Educator Volunteer Network, which matches up skilled Canadians with schools in developing and at-risk regions around the world, letting them donate their time without ever leaving their desks.
Educatorvolunteer.net is the brainchild of Ryan Aldred, president of the CanILF, a registered charity devoted to improving educational opportunities for children in destitute and war-torn regions. Through the agency’s work in Afghanistan, Aldred said, he saw that online volunteers could make a massive difference to schools.
“Two things we were struck by was how interested Canadians were in getting involved and how many schools were out there looking for assistance. We kept thinking, ‘What can we do to help these schools?’
“So we came up with the notion of an online community where we could connect the two groups and help them work together. The network launched in September and the response has been amazing.”
So far more than 50 volunteers have signed up to provide one-on-one online assistance with new technologies, research requests, curriculum enhancement, development of resources, writing content for websites and putting together budgets and business plans.
To volunteer or to donate, visit educatorvolunteer.net
By Gillian Burnett, Vancouver Sun December 8, 2011
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