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Volunteering as a Teacher in Africa

Often, we take our access to education for granted. But the truth is that in many places in the world, it is a privilege. This is true in a large number of African countries which is why volunteer teachers are in high demand. Volunteering as a teacher in Africa is more than an opportunity to give back to those in need. It is a chance for personal and professional growth. Many humanitarian volunteers travel to Africa to teach, and there are diverse opportunities to do so throughout the continent. So why should you volunteer as a teacher in Africa, and what is it like?

Volunteering as a Teacher in Africa

Why Volunteer as a Teacher in Africa?

Africa is a large and diverse continent with over 50 countries. Unfortunately, many of them face issues such as corruption, poverty, and inequality. The education systems reflect this. There is often a strong need for qualified teachers, a lack of infrastructure, and low funding. At the same time, many of the children from poor communities do not have access to the public education system. Volunteers can help to support these systems by alleviating some of these burdens. Education is considered a basic right for every child by the United Nations. However, millions of children around the world continue to forego schooling. By becoming a volunteer teacher in Africa, you can provide that opportunity for children from the poorest communities.

How Does it Work?

Plenty of organizations offer opportunities to volunteer in Africa as a teacher. In many cases, you won’t need to have prior teaching experience to participate. Rather, they will test your personality, adaptability, and soft skills to see if the volunteer position is suitable for you. Placements can last anywhere from one month to a year or two. It depends on the program and your availability. It is always advisable to make sure that the program you plan to participate in has strong standards for sustainability and continuity in the communities in which they work.

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What do You Get from the Experience?

Volunteer teachers in Africa provide an important service to communities. However, they also stand to gain a lot from the experience of volunteering as a teacher in Africa. The rich culture and diversity of the continent mean that volunteers get to learn a lot about the world and its people. They get to grow as a person by pushing their boundaries and learning about their adaptabilities. They get to see the beauty and richness of the African countries. And, of course, volunteer teachers get to build their professional skills. It looks great on your resume and teaches you skills you could never pick up back home.

What are Some of the Challenges?

All enriching experiences come with a few challenges. Humanitarian travel is no exception. One of the first challenges when it comes to volunteering as a teacher in Africa is culture shock. Often, the customs and traditions of African countries are quite different from what is considered normal back home. But at the end of the day, this adaptation process is what makes the experience worthwhile. Another challenge is the lack of infrastructure. Many schools are poorly funded and won’t even have proper classrooms set up, particularly in rural areas. However, those with the right skills will find this more of an opportunity for creativity. Finally, coming back is definitely a challenge. Many countries in Africa boast strong communities which are hard to leave behind once they have become your home.

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