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Volunteering and ICTs in the Americas

Volunteers in Canada spend an average of 191 hours per year for volunteer activities, which is equivalent to 578 000 full-time positions [source: Canadian Centre for Philanthropy, 1997]. In the United States of America, the percentage of volunteers has almost reached 56-62% of American women spend an average of 3.4 hours per week volunteering, whereas 49% of men spend 3.6 weekly hours. In 1998, about 109 million adults were volunteering in the USA [source: Independent Sector, 2000]. Both of theses countries have a long history of volunteer effort.

Both countries are also leading in terms of computer distributions: in 2001, 50.5% (41.4% in 2000) of all households in the USA and 48.7% (40% in 2000) in Canada had access to the Internet [source: OECD, ICT database, August 2002].

While overall quantifying statistics do not exist to quantify volunteer efforts in Latin America, it is a phenomenon, which is also present there. A recent study showed that 50% of all Brazilian volunteers offer their help because they wish to help others, and 38% feel obliged to help the poor, whereas 31 percent do it for religious reasons or for reasons linked to their studies [source: Lions Club international, 1998].

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