For Students To "Give Back," Add Real Value

Peter St. Onge writes: A recent article in the left-leaning Independent argued that student volunteers are useless. In one project putting UK college students to work building a local school, the work was so awful that local Ugandan masons “dismantled the structurally unsound work [the students] had done — relaying bricks and resetting timbers whilst the students slept.”
“Giving back” is big these days, but how can we know if we’re really making a contribution, or if we, like those students, are just tourists who need cleaning up after.