University Alumni associations are offering short overseas volunteer travel programmes. Here’s an example from the Association of Yale Alumni organised by their Alumni Service Corps.
Yale alumni, their friends and family can volunteer with the community of Yamoransa on Ghana’s Cape Coast. They are offering an organised, 10 day trip for $2000 (excluding flights). The local Chief has identified a number of projects which could utilise volunteers. For example volunteers can teach a 1 week summer school programme to local children, with the subjects depending on what the volunteer is interested in teaching. They can also help with construction and renovation projects, advise local micro-enterprises on business skills and assist with setting up a 1 week medical clinic. They say that specialized skills aren’trequired for participation in the Service Program.
The programme emphasises that this is travel with a purpose, the chance to give something back and increase mutual understanding.
Interestingly, the tradition of Yale Alumni volunteering dates back to the 1940s when Sargent Shriver, a Yale Alumnus, set up the Peace Corps.
North American University alumni are very active in this kind of voluntary service (although primarily volunteering within N American communities). I wonder if this is something that will gain popularity in with UK Alumni too?