I am looking for an easy to join student volunteer program abroad and my first choice is anywhere in Africa. While I don't have a skill yet as I've just dropped out of college, it is frustrating that most volunteer programs are very particular about my academic background and financial ability to maintain myself while in Africa - where i understand the cost of living is very low. Are there community programs where I can directly enroll without going through established student volunteer (abroad) programs here in US?


Students volunteer programs in Africa, when done with proper planning are a very meaningful and can help to change someone life for the better. Both the volunteering student and the community he chooses to work with both benefit from the experience.

However there is a lot responsibility on the liaising international student volunteer vacation agency to make sure that they connect the "right" volunteering students with the "right" communities. This is the main reason they want to know your academic background.

On finances, while the cost of living in Africa is low - this is a relative term and the students agency abroad must be fully satisfied that you can meet your travel cost to Africa, upkeep and other cost like insurance. Besides they may have a condition that you give a fixed donation to the community you will be volunteering with in Africa.

Most local communities prefer work with established students volunteer agencies mainly because of the above vetting to minimize risks of taking in students who are not fully prepared for volunteerism and who may not add value to the community.

Anne Huysman
Ontdek Kenya Safaris