Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” - Malala Youfazi
There are very few people who will tell you that teaching English abroad isn’t one of the most rewarding volunteer experiences you could have. Ever. Truth is, there are countless reasons why assisting children, schools, and communities is deemed rewarding volunteer work, and the ultimate catalyst for personal growth.
Why Teaching Truly Matters
Conversations around dinner tables so often lead to discussions around all the problems we face on a daily basis. In this ever-changing world, this can extend to a host of different, and let’s be honest, relatively depressing things. More often than not, we fail to acknowledge and recognise the countless human beings who wake up every day and, through their tireless, neverending contributions and energy, strive to make a difference in this world. They stand up, and with a severe lack of resources and support, try to make a difference.
You guessed it. The superheroes are our teachers and those that volunteer to help them. These individuals recognise that the future is in the hands of the youth and that by ensuring they are loved, respected, happy, and inspired - the world may just become a better place.
One of the many benefits of having an affinity for teaching is the fact that it can take you anywhere in the world - and regardless of destination - be it Ghana or Peru, Cambodia or South Africa - your presence and contribution will be felt and despite time or experience - you will be making a difference.
3 Ways Teaching English Abroad is the Most Rewarding Volunteer Work
1. Bettering Lives
Teaching English Abroad is not only bestowing knowledge on willing (sometimes) listeners, it is at its core bettering the lives of your students, their families, and communities at large. In reality, despite where in the world you are, English has become the primary medium of communication. This is true for most platforms - be it the media, culture, and of course - international business relations. English is an essential component of the global community and a person’s ability to embrace being a global citizen. Providing children from low-socio-economic areas and non-english speaking countries with the skills and ability to become part of this global platform adds so much depth to the rewarding work you will be doing.
2. Broadening Horizons
Teaching English abroad affords you the opportunity to broaden your own horizons while improving the life of your students. The encounters you will undeniably have and the relationships you will definitely form will become the most memorable and rewarding moments of your life. What is so important to remember is that by travelling abroad and imparting knowledge and sharing experience and love, you are not simply teaching someone another language, you are making a real difference, creating empathy, and opportunity by, in essence, making the world a smaller more understanding place.
3. Building Skills
On top of the giving back and the nature of this rewarding volunteer work, teaching English abroad will allow you to immerse yourself in a different culture and community, providing you with the opportunity to understand yourself and grow as an individual. Within the context of a foreign world, you will be able to appreciate your own reality as well as the diversity and the difficulties of other people around the globe. Besides providing the much needed support to under-resourced schools and overworked educators in poorer and often rural communities, volunteering to teach abroad will help you improve your communication and social skills while at the same time building your independence.
Where to Find the Most Rewarding Volunteer Work
At the top of our list of rewarding volunteer work - there is no doubt you will find a list of communities and countries - ranging from Ghana to Peru - that need your help, and by signing up will see our hearts bursting with joy. While one could never differentiate between the sense of joy and fulfillment you, as a volunteer, would gain from teaching anywhere in the world - these particular projects and communities could really do with your help!
In this dynamic Ghanaian city, you will be directing your time and energy toward caring for local children at a boarding school. The stark reality is that many of the committed teachers in Accra are overworked and in urgent need of assistance to help ease the burden they currently bear. With the devastating rise in shortage of teachers and educators, school children rarely get the individual, one-on-one help and support that they need. Becoming a teaching volunteer to assist in the classroom will help to ensure that the children will get that little bit of attention they so desperately need and crave, and also provide them with the attention they require in order gain greater insight and understanding.
Just like we wouldn’t expect a surgeon to perform surgery without a scalpel - we can’t expect teachers to teach without a safe space or hopefully, a classroom! This project will allow you to provide more than just traditional lesson assistance and running classroom games, you will also be afforded the opportunity to help with hands-on renovation and restoration work on the school building itself.
In cooperation with the provincial education department, a range of NGOs host and manage a range of different volunteering projects across the Northern Cambodian countryside. In this picturesque region of Cambodia, you will be afforded the chance to assist at an authentic school - designed, built, and run by a native Cambodian - who works tirelessly to help underprivileged families in the surrounding community. Despite a severe lack of resources and core services, over 230 students from six surrounding villages attend the school on a daily basis. With a range of students attending, from 6-15 years old, this is one of the only schools where children can receive an education free of charge!
During your undeniably rewarding time at this heartwarming facility, you will not only be able to form special relationships and bods with the friendly and gregarious students, you’ll also be able to help build their confidence and provide them with greater opportunity to break the perpetual society of poverty.
The project aims to provide affordable and accessible English classes to local Peruvian children. In many cases, the standard of English teaching in Peru is relatively quite poor and students are left unable to accurately communicate, read, or write in English after their coursework is complete. This rewarding teaching English volunteer program takes places at a variety of primary and secondary schools in the vibrant city of Cajamarca.
As a teaching volunteer, you will not be given a “talk and chalk” position as a classroom teacher, rather you will be truly helping students to speak and understand basic English.
Rewarding Volunteer Work Changes Lives, And the World!
Nothing could be more true - than the famous words of the iconic Nelson Mandela when he said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” And if this is true - than our teachers perform the most rewarding work on a daily basis. Those who volunteer to give back and help students around the world make a difference none of us can measure. Teaching English abroad is not only the most rewarding volunteer work experience there is, forgive me for being biased, it is probably one of the most important too!
This article was contributed by GoEco, one of the world’s leading sustainable volunteer organizations. Established in 2005, GoEco perfectly combines affordable international volunteering with ecologically friendly vacations through partnerships with organizations located everywhere from Ghana to Peru.