Mary-Katherine Workman volunteered in Peru in January 2018. She wanted the opportunity to travel but also make a sustainable impact. In Peru, she worked on numerous social projects to help uplift Lima communities. Lawrence Book-McKnight, Program Manager for CCS Peru interviewed Mary-Katherine about her experience. Read about her impact journey!
When did you originally decide to volunteer with CCS, and why?
One of the most politically stable countries in Africa, Ghana is gifted with a diverse and scenic landscape, from beautiful beaches and waters to forests with a diverse array of wildlife. A mix of modern and traditional belief systems, the culture of Ghana is complex yet welcoming, and you will find a friendly face and welcoming hand at every turn. Although over 100 languages are spoken throughout the country, English remains the official language for business and in secondary education.
Our High School Volunteer Abroad program is a way to be immersed in a new and exciting culture while making an impact in a community abroad. Not only is it practicing English and forging bonds with local students, but you’ll also get to go on weekend adventures while building friendships with other teens.
Cross-Cultural Solutions is proud to announce the opening of its new site: Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Known for its pristine beaches, biodiversity, warm weather, and welcoming people, Guanacaste is an incredible place to make a meaningful impact. Here are some quick facts from development specialist, Annie Chen about this gorgeous new location that’s ready to receive our volunteers so they can make a positive impact!
Can you tell me about the overall community?
Nestled among olive trees and factories, twenty minutes away from the beautiful city of Chalkida in Greece was Ritsona Refugee Camp. Formerly an air force base, Ritsona was funded by the UAE and Red Cross to address the needs of the influx of migrants that entered Greece in 2015. Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) manages a distribution center at this camp, where residents are provided with clean water, clothing, tea, and milk. I spent three months in Greece with CCS to help meet the needs of the camp. I was able to learn in-depth about the refugee crisis and see it through my own eyes.
Constantina Strikou, Program Officer for CCS Greece has been dedicated to addressing the needs of refugee communities since 2015. Starting on the coasts of Lesvos where refugees first enter Greece, Constantina now works at a camp on the mainland, Ritsona Refugee Camp. She is inspired by the resiliency of this population and has had the opportunity to analyze and understand the needs of this community through her work. We had the opportunity to sit with her and discuss the breadth of this crisis and how others can help make an impact.
Celeste Torrens , 77 and Nathalie Weeks, 73 are two sisters that showed the world that you can make an impact at any age through Cross-Cultural Solutions. Both sisters were Peace Corps volunteers who shared a love for assisting communities throughout the world, and learning about humanitarian issues. As the refugee crisis was continuously brought to their attention, they both knew they needed to do something, and decided to make their difference together.
Denise Riebman decided to ring in the new year the right way--dedicated to the service of others. Denise is a career development specialist that decided to embark on her first CCS adventure to provide resources to refugees at the Ritsona Refugee Camp. Before her trip to Greece, she reached out to her friends and family to collect vital item donations for the distribution center at Ritsona. Unique to the Greece Refugee Program, CCS provides volunteers with a list of appropriate and useful donations that will make a positive impact on the residents of the camp.
At Cross-Cultural Solutions, our in-country staff always goes above and beyond to ensure the comfort of our volunteers. As members of the local community, they help to provide our volunteers with an authentic and genuine connection to their new cultural experience. From your new friend who will pick you up from the airport to the coordinator for volunteer activities, we’ll be with you every step of the way. Ivory Price, our Program Specialist for Costa Rica, spoke with some of our in-country staff so you could see why they’ll love to meet you!