Educator Volunteer Network

December 08, 2011 12:18 ET

New Initiative Changing the Face of International Volunteerism

Online volunteers create a lifeline for educators in need

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 8, 2011) -

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An innovative new volunteer program is proving you don't need to leave home to improve education in some of the world's toughest regions. Through the Educator Volunteer Network (EducatorVolunteer.Net), skilled volunteers in the United States, Canada and abroad are connecting with educators in impoverished and war-torn countries to provide online assistance and mentorship. With just their skills, the Internet and a few hours a week, these online volunteers are transforming the face of international education and volunteerism.

"It's surprising what a difference you can make by volunteering online. I have helped schools in Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Uganda by building their websites, conducting research and writing letters and proposals," says Andrew Lu, a Chicago college student who grew up in San Jose. "You can work when and where it's convenient for you. It's empowering to be able to get involved in significant ways."

EducatorVolunteer.Net is an online community where teachers in regions of war, poverty and illness receive one-on-one assistance plus online training and resources. The Network launched in September with the bold vision of providing a team of online volunteers for every educator in need. Over 50 volunteers have joined as well as seven schools in Nepal, Uganda, Liberia, Tanzania, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.

EducatorVolunteer.Net is seeking new online volunteers experienced in education, communications, Information Technology, infrastructure, business or project management, as well as teachers and schools in at-risk regions. Donations are needed to recruit, train and connect volunteers and educators, with tax receipts available for eligible Canadian donors.

"I am very grateful for such an opportunity," says Patrick Makisa, Director of Rock Community School in Uganda. "Volunteers are offering great guidance as per school instruction and teachers' activities. I have benefited in my growth in issues of education. Thank you for this great Educator Volunteer Network!"

The Network was created by the Canadian International Learning Foundation (CanILF), an innovative registered Canadian charity best known for helping establish and develop the Afghan-Canadian Community Center, a professional institute now educating more than 1,500 students. That's where the Foundation's team of online volunteers first worked directly with local educators.

"Online volunteers created such strong results in Kandahar that we started imagining how they could help teachers and transform communities around the world," says CanILF President Ryan Aldred. "EducatorVolunteer.Net makes this dream a reality. It meets the exact needs of teachers and offers a safe, simple way to make a difference in the world."

The Network enables educators and volunteers to share ideas and work as online teams, and offers one-on-one coaching, training webinars and a resource library of best practices and templates.

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