Emerging, High school / Secondary 2, International, Landscape, Not-for-Profit, Open Source Education, Required, Startups, Technology - Written by on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 6:20 - 0 Comments

Canadian Innovation: Change The World Without Leaving Your Desk

By Ravi Kumar

Now, you can make a difference in the lives of people from third world countries without leaving your desk or spending any money. You just have to donate your time online. Thanks to Educator Volunteer Network, an online community that matches volunteers with schools.

Canadians are even more thankful because they say lack of time is the single biggest barrier to becoming a volunteer. Canadians spend more time working than their American counterparts, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Yet, they want to change the world. Realizing the passion and the problem faced by his fellow Canadians, Ryan Aldred launched Educator Volunteer Network to pair up skilled Canadians with schools in developing and at-risk regions around the world. Volunteers donate their time online by connecting with schools from developing countries.

Gillian Burnett, for the Vancouver Sun reports that Aldred started EducatorVolunteer.Net when 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.”

The Educator Volunteer Network serves as a platform where educators from poverty or war stricken places can request and receive one-on-one mentorship from skilled international volunteers.

As per the article on the Vancouver Sun, more than 50 volunteers have signed up to be part of the Educator Volunteer Network. These volunteers help on wide range of topics like helping to write business plans to help write content for websites.

 “Going overseas to volunteer isn’t always possible,” said Melanie Wilson, a volunteer working on her PhD in Montreal, in a press release. “Now I’m in touch directly with a school in Uganda… It has been a fun, interesting and empowering experience that has nicely fit into my already busy schedule.”

Teachers and schools from Afghanistan, Nepal, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda and Liberia have joined the network so far.

            “You’ve got the potential to solve a problem once and then solve it forever — an organization can come along and see what you’ve done,” he said. “You could potentially have millions of people volunteering online with almost no cost attached. It could transform not only education but health care, social services, and agriculture.”

To volunteer or to donate, visit educatorvolunteer.net

Source: The Vancouver Sun


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