6 Ways International Volunteer Efforts Help Remove Barriers to Education

Children living in some areas of the world don’t have access to education. Over 250 million children and adolescents are out of school worldwide.

Countries are trying to provide universal education to all kids, but unfortunately, some barriers prevent them from doing so.

In developed countries, populations view education as a fundamental human right. Still, some student-aged children don’t have an opportunity to learn, whether because of their gender, background or social class. Fortunately, through international volunteering and educational efforts, people are working to provide access to learning for everyone. 

Access to education has the power to improve overall health and well-being, combat climate change and end poverty. Here’s how international volunteering removes barriers to education.

1. They Provide Access to Quality Education for All Genders

In the international efforts to remove educational barriers, volunteers have provided quality education for all genders. Girls and younger women are always in the majority of those seeking education. While there are differences biologically between girls and boys, that doesn’t justify unequal rights. Educational volunteers have made education accessible for all genders and have often emphasized the status of girls.  

2. They Teach Sustainability for a Hopeful Future

Climate change is another significant barrier to education for some children, especially in vulnerable populations in small island communities and developing countries. It brings instability to many people, and since many impoverished families depend on agriculture for a living, kids have to stay home and work. Families may not have the funds or resources to send them to school.

Volunteers are providing a sustainable education in these places in the hopes that these children will grow to understand climate change and take action to stop it. Access to quality education leads to sustainable development and more chances for kids to learn.

Volunteer at the library"
International volunteering"

3. They Help Build School Buildings

Some international volunteers may not have the ability to teach children firsthand, but they come with other skills necessary to construct infrastructure for them to learn. Educational infrastructure provides a safe space for learning. Often, facilities in areas without quality education crowd classrooms with kids. Buildings may be far from homes and often aren’t adequately sanitary. Volunteers help in building appropriate learning environments for children.

4. They Accept Refugees With Open Arms

Another barrier to education is the acceptance of refugees. Even in the United States, over 122,600 students are undocumented because they’re refugees. Families in developing countries often flee to a safer place because of conflict or few resources to stay alive. These refugees are usually placed in camps without education. International volunteers may enter these areas and offer primary education or the opportunity to go to another country where schooling is available. 

Students reading"
International volunteer"

5. They Provide Schooling Resources and Materials

Poorer countries don’t have access to education because they cannot afford the necessary resources and materials to teach. Teachers can volunteer to travel to these countries to ensure effective teaching strategies. Plus, international efforts often bring textbooks and other materials, like pencils, notebooks and backpacks, through donations. They may also obtain financial resources through generous contributions.

6. They Reach as Many Countries as Possible

International volunteers try to reach as many regions as possible, despite challenging geographies or conflicts. Volunteers construct primary schools in the mountains, flood-prone areas and even in densely populated cities. Although it’s dangerous, volunteers also try to reach conflict-affected regions. These places often have children-soldiers or families forced to participate in the fighting. 

Spreading Education to Every Corner of the Earth

It’s simply amazing how volunteering removes international education barriers. In pursuit of universal schooling, international volunteers from all over the world do what they can to allow children of all nations, races, backgrounds and genders to learn. Education is such a powerful force. Maybe you could be part of the efforts to let knowledge enter the lives of every child on this planet.

Volunteering abraod"
Volunteer teacher"
Globalteer guest author Ginger
Author - Ginger Abbot

Ginger Abbot is a learning and education writer with a personal passion for study abroad and international travel. She also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Classrooms.com, where you can read more of her work.