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Volunteer field report from a business school in paradise

The island archipelago of Zanzibar, just off the coast of East Africa in the tropical Indian Ocean, is perceived as one of the most exotic and beautiful destinations on Earth. It’s a must-visit for lovers of nature, with pristine beaches, fascinating cultural diversity, and a sense of history mostly untouched by modern influences.

As with all African countries, however, this is only a small part of the picture. The Zanzibari people undergo many trials and challenges in their daily lives related to limited income opportunities. Keeping up to date with modern business methods and technologies can be extremely difficult even in developed countries. Few people in Zanzibar are lucky enough to receive anything but the most basic education. Subjects that many take for granted in the West, such as marketing and business skills, are all but unheard of.

reading to orphansIn some countries, especially in Asia, it’s a fairly common sight to see a number of children walking in the street in procession, singing or playing a variety of traditional instruments. They are led along by adults with placards reading "Support our orphans." Anyone who makes a donation is then invited to visit the nearby orphanage, and perhaps even spend some time working there.

dad volunteerSo you have the opportunity to take your family on an overseas trip. Why not make it a volunteering trip? The concept of volunteering overseas with your family is becoming ever more popular, especially in the last 5 years. Instead of sitting on a beach at a resort until the kids get bored, then sending them off to the “kids’ club”, you could all be helping to change lives. And you can still make time for the beach.

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