Group volunteering: An advisor's perspective
In the summer of 2012, Kirkwood Community College sent our very first group of students overseas to volunteer with Cross-Cultural Solutions. Since then, we have sent students and faculty to Tanzania, Peru, and Costa Rica. And in 2014, I'll be leading my very first group of Cross-Cultural Solutions student volunteers on an immersive cultural experience in Ghana's Volta Region.
CCS offers our students a unique abroad experience that seamlessly combines international education, service-learning, and cultural immersion. After our first group returned from Tanzania with such rave reviews, we knew that we had found an ideal partner in CCS. Here's what one student had to say about her experience:
"Working with these children had a huge impact on my perspective. They were always looking out for each other and sharing whatever they had. We would look at what they had, and perhaps we would see very little, but they look at it and are still full of happiness for the things they have and the people that are in their lives."
Next, I sent a group to volunteer in Lima, Peru with children and the elderly in the shantytown of Villa El Salvador. And this past July, we had a group of 11 nursing students volunteer in Cartago, Costa Rica for an exciting, two-week volunteer experience working with the elderly. For more about this particular volunteer adventure, visit the Kirkwood student blog.
After seeing all that my students have learned and accomplished, I was thrilled when I was selected to lead a group of Kirkwood students to volunteer with CCS in Ghana in June, 2014. We plan to send five students from each of our partner colleges around the world, making this an international experience on many levels. I can't wait to see what the CCS experience is all about, and to share it with you!