VOLUNTEER ABROAD

How Volunteering Inspired My Debut Novel

Ed Renshaw volunteer abroad in Tanzania

by Ed Renshaw

This December marks ten years since I volunteered with CCS in Tanzania, an incredible experience that altered the course of my life and opened up a whole new world. Prior to Tanzania I was lucky enough to have travelled in Africa and Asia, but I hadn’t experienced anything nearly as intimate and powerful as the time I spent living and working in the local community.

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A Brave Decision: CCS Alumna Fights Human Trafficking through Fashion


Jessica Hendricks—entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Cross-Cultural Solutions alum—discovered a creative way to make a positive impact in the world after volunteering abroad: women’s jewelry. Her Brave Collection features handcrafted bracelets by Cambodian artisans, and 10% of profits are donated to help end human trafficking. A Brave bracelet is far more than a fashion statement—each piece is a work of art that tells a story about human connection and strength.

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Language Poses No Barriers

hand prints on walls, Cross-Cultural Solutions, Cartago Cost Rica
As the plane pulled away from the gate, tears started to stream down my face. It felt as though my heart was being ripped in multiple pieces and was left scattered throughout Cartago, Costa Rica. To tell you how meaningful and extraordinary my experience was I would need to write a novel. To fully understand the heartbreak, every individual must experience a CCS program for oneself.

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"Tee-cha" "Tee-cha"

volunteer abroad in Tanzania teaching
After a sleepless night I was worried I was gonna be completely useless at my placement Step-Up Centre, a pre-primary school.

Fortunately, kids have a way of re-energizing you, and before I left I had promised to give them my best no matter how tired I would be due to jet-lag, so I sucked it up, and powered forward.

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They gave me ME.

Volunteering in Morcooo for four weeks
by Jessica Couture

When I signed up with Cross Cultural Solutions I was afraid. Not of the program but rather of growing up. Volunteering for four weeks in Morocco was my way of avoiding the “real world”. I was a college senior who had spent the past 3.5 years working towards a degree in a field I suddenly didn’t care about.

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VOLUNTEER to EMPOWER

by Patricia Gott

Volunteer Abroad in Africa to Empower WomenTanzania greeted me on a balmy 70-degree evening around 9 pm in November. Cross-Cultural Solutions had sent a driver, Simon, to pick me up and drive me to the Home-Base. He spoke English, and it was from him that I learned much about Tanzania and its people in the coming weeks.

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Extraordinary Guatemala


I awakened with my head pressed firmly against the airplane window with a stale sandwich wrapped in plastic on my lap. I had slept the entire 5-hour red-eye flight from LA to Guatemala City. I opened my eyes to the early morning sun peeking over the mountaintops. Wait, I could not believe it, those were not mountains they were volcanoes.

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