Hey guys,

lately I've been thinking about going somewhere far away over the summer to do something meaningful. I want to go to Africa, get some space, some alone time and most of all, do something productive and contribute.

I've looked in to a lot of volunteer programs (my IDEAL thing would be to do with animals) and I've found a lot of things like taking care of tigers in namibia, or washing elephants in Kenya.

For me the problem is this: These programs require you to pay up to 2 grand to spend a few weeks there, this money does cover accommodation and food but it's mainly a donation to the cause.

Now I'm all for donating to a cause but it seems to me that the money is the only reason they let people come and help...which in return means that they don't ACTUALLY care that much about the work you do. So it just looks like "buy a fun holiday in a safari, chilling with tigers" and the money just happens to go to charity.

I'm looking for volunteer work where I actually contribute something physically, like teaching kids or helping build houses in poor countries but all keep finding is these holiday-like volunteer programs that are totally unaffordable.

Do you know any volunteer programs that reflect what I'm looking for? Programs that need me rather than my money?

Thanks in advance, I appreciate it!

TL;DR: Most volunteer programs make you pay money to go volunteer so they are all about making money for the cause. I'm looking for a volunteer program where I contribute properly and not just by paying a sum to go and be useless somewhere. No any volunteer programs like this?
Money is always going to be important to charities, because while you may contribute a lot during your 2 weeks, they need people there all year to work for the cause.
This is a school run by Marist brothers in Cambodia, I visited a couple of years ago. They take volunteers pretty regularly who help out with running the school/teaching the kids etc. I daresay there are a lot of schemes like this all around the world which you could sign up for.
"People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis; you can't trust people."
Yeah I know why they take the money but there are a few really good ones (like the East African Playground) where literally all the money (only 600 quid) goes directly to the playgrounds that volunteers build.

I'm looking for something of that sort but in teaching...