SummaryAcknowledgementIntroductionWhy Should We Help?The BenefitsThe Venture ItselfHow to Avoid the Marie Antoinette SyndromeThe Action PlanConclusionSelected Bibliography

BCIT has a unique opportunity to be the first post-secondary institution in Canada to do something so dramatic and unprecedented that it will garner enormous goodwill and prestige, a greatly expanded public profile, and the chance to offer an unusual component to its educational programs.

BCIT has the chance to reach out to the developing world and contribute its expertise, energy, and enthusiasm to help build better communities and healthier societies. This chance reflects what might be called the new globalization: the awareness that the world is one and that the rich (developed) countries should help the (developing) countries.

Our students can join a number of organizations to help developing countries, for example, Engineers without Borders, CUSO, etc., but to date, no individual educational institution has stepped forward to take up the cause. However, in the world at large, even in pop culture, this movement has taken off (Pearce, 2006). Movie stars and celebrities, such as Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Madonna, etc., are adopting African children, donating money to orphanages, contributing to projects to improve African villages, and starting their own foundations (Lawless, 2006).

This opportunity could provide BCIT with immeasurable intangible returns. Financial returns are essential, of course, but these intangible returns are at least as important as financial ones. In the long run, these intangibles would probably translate into financial returns as BCIT would likely attract more students to its programs.

Many arguments can be put forward against this opportunity; Section 2 of this report discusses these arguments. The report then discusses the benefits to BCIT that would accrue, the venture itself, including possible partnerships, and an action plan.

Read More: Why Africa?