Last year VSO — which does not charge volunteers — warned that gap-year students risk becoming the “new colonialists” if attitudes to voluntary work in the developing world do not change and if schemes were designed with the enjoyment of volunteers in mind.
Almost half of all private-school pupils take gap years, compared with about one in five students overall.
VSO has two programs for 18- to 25-year-olds, for which it provides flights, accommodation, training, visas and a living allowance.
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