Our Development Model

At SOS, we believe that education is a right and an antidote to poverty.

A holistic educational structure includes the appropriate infrastructure, community support, school supplies, sanitation and recreation facilities, and more. We work with non-profit organizations and communities in Latin America to make this right a reality.

We bring Canadian students and Latin American communities together through Outreach Trips, which see volunteers travel to communities with an education-based need, to which SOS contributes via human and financial capital.

Building Systems for Holistic Education

What is “Holistic” Education?

For SOS, holistic education means much more than sporadically building schools. It means taking a sustained interest in communities.

Our experience has revealed secondary questions which relate to infrastructure: Where do teachers live? How do students get to school? What obstacles do they face getting there? What resources are available to students outside the classroom?

Other questions relate to incentives and barriers to education: Why do students not attend class? How do we facilitate the transition from international help to governmental help? How do we support the creation of sustainable projects and communities?

Our host communities and partnering organizations are best suited to answer such questions. They initiate the projects, and have the lived experience to tell us what works and what does not.

Our Process

It is essential that communities show a commitment to education prior to our involvement. We seek out regions that lack supportive infrastructure and regions whose efforts in educational development are stunted by distance, natural disaster, or economic barriers which prohibit access to quality education.

A community and its local partnering organization propose an infrastructure based project to SOS for funding. They research costs for building supplies, coordinate safety and logistics for SOS volunteers, and ensure the community is able to sustain the project.

On Outreach Trips, students volunteer in host communities for 10 to 14 days. In groups of 10 to 15, they work 6 to 8 hours a day. During the trip, cultural exchanges take place between volunteers and community members.

The development process is about more than simply providing funds. We believe personal investment keeps this process human, relatable, and sustainable. We work with hundreds of students across Canada who are eager to learn, share, and explore the world. Outreach Trips channel that energy and enrich the experiences of volunteers and host communities alike.

Our International Partners

Our partners on the ground are non-governmental organizations run by passionate individuals who have spent years working, researching and understanding the communities and cultures that we support. They are able to provide vital feedback about what works, what doesn’t, what’s needed and what’s not. We work with and depend on them to develop educational projects that are meaningful and sustainable to the places where we work.

Learn More

To us, the development process is about more than simply transferring funds from North America to Latin America. We believe the personal investment keeps this process human, relatable, and sustainable.

We work with hundreds of students across Canada who are eager to learn, share, and explore the world. Outreach Trips channel that energy into constructive projects that enrich the experience and knowledge of our volunteers and host communities.

Have any questions? Email us at trips@studentsofferingsupport.ca!