YOU IN AFRICA EXPERIENCE GAP
Being a CCS volunteer means more than just traveling, or just volunteering. It means becoming part of a unique community; an international network of CCS alums, in the fellow-volunteers that you’ll meet at the Home-Base, and of course, the local people in your new home away from home. The CCS experience is all about creating community and meaningful connections, and all of this happens organically from the comfort of your Home-Base and with the support of a full-time in-country staff.
Meet the Incredible CCS Country Directors!
A Day in the Life
With the endless possibilities that await you in Africa we guarantee that you’ll never get bored. CCS provides you with all the basics for a memorable experience, giving you room to color it in with your own passions and creativity, all while exploring your new stomping grounds as “part of the crew”. Here’s a taste of what you can expect:
The CCS Home-Base
Located in a quiet residential neighborhood, the CCS Home-Base is designed with your safety and comfort in mind. We know the importance of a cozy bed and a nutritious meal to help fuel your volunteer work, and that’s exactly what we’ll have waiting for you when you arrive.
Get a taste of the CCS Rabat Home-Base from a volunteer-led tour:
Next, travel to Ghana to see your amazing local neighborhood:
Your beautiful Home-Base in Tanzania will not disappoint!
Can’t wait to share your experience? We got you covered! Staying connected at the Home-Base is easy with a landline for incoming calls (or pick up a phone card for international calls), and there’s always Wi-Fi available.
CCS Staff – Your Second Family
Our in-country staff members truly are the unsung heroes of your volunteer experience. They all hail from the local community and their unique experiences, insights, and professional demeanors are unmatched. They are the heart and soul of the CCS program, and ensure that your experience is a safe, fun, and impactful.
Assistant Program Officer
Fellow Volunteers - Your Gap Year Cohort
During your CCS Gap Year experience, you’ll be living, working, and learning with a group of other students as part of your gap cohort. Serving and sharing experiences in a new country with a group of peers from around the country, and from other countries, can lead to lasting friendships, new perspectives, and amazing growth opportunities, but it can also present challenges. Before you embark on your experience, please consider the following that you might encounter when interacting with other participants over your 12-week experience:
• When you meet a new person, even if they are disagreements, realize that you likely have a lot more in common than you might initially think. This is a great time to connect with others to recognize what you have in common, and to appreciate the differences, that exist in all of us.
• Recognize that you have skills and attributes that can help others, and others have those attributes that can help you. When you share your skills and strengths with others, and they are able to share in return, you’ll gain a greater appreciation for what each member can bring to the group.
• Acknowledge that there will be disagreements during your program, and there may be group members that you immediately bond with more than others. Challenge yourself to approach these disagreements with good intention and honesty, and practice those skills to remain calm in adversity.
Remember that part of your experience is the shared humanity and shared understanding that comes from living in a group environment. While it may feel more natural to retreat to a comfort zone of being only with others that you immediately bond with, you’re also on this experience to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. Getting to know each other as individuals, and taking the time to share experiences, will lead to a greater experience for you, and for your group as a whole!
Enjoying Local Dishes
You’ll never need to worry about going hungry thanks to the work of our all-star cooks at Home-Base. You’ll get 3 home-cooked meals a day, all safely prepared using locally grown produce and authentic, regional recipes so you’ll get a taste of the culture in every bite! Enjoy some of Morocco’s favorite dishes like tagine and couscous, savor Ghana's delicious red sauce, and join staff for a local barbecue in Tanzania!
Your comfort and safety is our top priority and that doesn’t change when it comes to mealtime. Our cooks are all highly qualified in preparing delicious dishes for any dietary needs; go ahead, challenge us!
As part of the CCS community, international volunteers are representatives of us and of their home communities. This is not a typical travel experience – it’s an opportunity to make a real impact and real connections with the local community in a truly unique way.
The safety of CCS volunteers is essential to our programs, and our policies are designed not only to keep you safe, but also to ensure that your shared experience is comfortable, respectful, and as impactful as possible.
While some policies, such as Gift Giving & Donations and Alcohol & Drug use, are included in your volunteer paperwork (so please take a moment to read these carefully and give us a call with any questions.), there are a few others we’d like you to be aware of.
Drug & Alcohol Use: The use of illegal substances is not permitted on any Cross-Cultural Solutions program worldwide. Any volunteer who uses or distributes any illegal narcotics will be immediately terminated from their program, and may face local legal action.
Consumption of alcohol is also not permitted in any of our Home-Bases worldwide. In Morocco, please be aware volunteers who are of age can have a glass of wine or a beer when outside of the Home Base, but it is especially important that everyone be aware of the implications of drinking in public. Consuming alcoholic beverages is forbidden in Islam and those who imbibe may be seen by the local community in a negative light. Any violations of this policy will result in immediate termination from the program. Please review the full Drug & Alcohol Use policy.
Donations & Gift-Giving: Our impact in-country is based on volunteers offering love, care, and attention and to support the organizations we work with in a sustainable way. For that reason, we do not allow donations & gift-giving on CCS programs, as this alters the motivations and sustainability of our work. Please review the full Donations & Gift Giving Policy for more information.
Curfew: As an international volunteer, it’s important to be well-rested for each day of work, and to be in the Home-Base at a reasonable time as to not disturb your fellow volunteers and to remain safe. Each destination has a set curfew designed for your curfew, so please note your specific curfews for your destinations in your volunteer paperwork.
Sexual Relations: On CCS programs, out of respect for the in-country staff and fellow volunteers, sexual relations are not permitted in the CCS Home-Base.
Weapons: To protect the safety of all volunteers, weapons are not permitted in the Home-Base.