This question is much debated. Some say, that volunteers could be used by a country’s institution as cheaper (and sometimes even better) substitutes for well-paid regular teachers. Others claim, that it’s the volunteers that at first prepare the ground for future generations of home-bred teachers. The answer to this question is not easily found, but might as well lie somewhere in between. 


1. Volunteers are not substitutes but supplements

Volunteers who at the most stay at a school or a likewise institution for only a few weeks can never be a full substitution for a professional teacher. On one hand they lack the education of a professional teacher and on the other hand they lack the time to escort the students over the years to their educational goals.


2. Volunteers help the children see the world in a bigger scale

Especially in rural regions, children don’t have a clue how big and diverse our world really is. Of course they learn in school about foreign countries and languages. But they remain somewhat virtual for them. They learn the names of foreign capitals and can find them on a map, but this is the same to them, as knowing the capital of Gondor and finding it on a map of Middle earth. A volunteer can close this gap between mere theoretical knowledge and reality. He is the one who opens the gate to the world and thus helps opening the minds of the children.


3. Volunteers are not only teachers but also teaching aids

When volunteers open the minds for the children to the world, they become of high value to the development of poor regions. They are a living proof for a world beyond that of the rural area and beyond the country’s borders. Children can ask them questions about their home countries and will be astonished about the diversity of the world, of customs and of values.


4. Volunteers are an inspiration to the children

Form what was mentioned above, we can say, that the value of volunteers lies not only in the effort they put into their teaching activities, but also in several other features. As messengers from an outer world, they teach the children, that borders are not insurmountable obstacles but man-made virtual marks on the ground. They teach them, that we live in one world, with common resources and common problems. As soon as they realise that, they might think about getting to know the world and be ambitious to be able to maybe one day solve its problems.