Ever since I was young, I would tell anyone who would listen that I was going to save the world. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize that it really isn't about saving the world, but rather being a force for positive change. Now I’m ready to be a force for that change by participating in a four-week volunteer trip to New Delhi, India through Cross-Cultural Solutions. This bold step brings together my passion for helping others with my desire to get involved on a very personal level. Through my volunteer work, I believe that I can make a difference.
I am pursuing a career in medicine because I hope to someday help establish long-term, sustainable solutions to global health issues affecting impoverished communities. I am dedicated to improving the quality of life for less fortunate persons in both the United States and abroad like Dr. Paul Farmer. Dr. Farmer, co-founder of Partners in Health, has dedicated his life to addressing health issues and inequalities in impoverished areas like Haiti, Peru, Siberia, Rwanda, Kazakhstan, the Dominican Republic and Mexico.
Inspired by the work of Dr. Farmer, I too would like to engage in this effort now, rather than wait until I have completed my graduate education. That’s because I strongly believe that this is truly an invaluable learning opportunity which is fully consistent with my longer-term educational goals and career objectives.
Through this volunteer experience, not only will I have a chance to learn from the people I am seeking to help, but I will also have the opportunity to learn more about myself. I see this as an invaluable once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn and grow in ways that just aren’t possible in the classroom. This experience may, in fact, provide both the inspiration and the impetus to see me through the remainder of my academic career.
About Cross-Cultural Solutions:
"Change their world. Change yours. This Changes everything"
Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS), established in 1995, is a nonprofit organization working towards addressing global needs through volunteer service in ten different countries. CCS has created a travel opportunity that provides a complete experience by organizing meaningful volunteer work and cultural immersion through activities, participation in cultural traditions, local cuisine, and language. Since each country is different the volunteer assignments are based on the specific needs of the local community. CCS establishes these needs and the volunteer assignments through its relationships with local organizations.
Video about Cross-Cultural Solutions:
Prior to the trip volunteers complete a Skills and Interests Form identifying their top choices for a volunteer assignment. Next, CCS Program Site Specialists and in-country staff work together to select a volunteer project that best fits the volunteer’s skills and interests. The volunteer opportunities offered by CCS in New Delhi focus on: improving education for children; assisting with the care of infants and children; improving health and the sense of dignity among the elderly; improving the quality of care for people with disabilities; and enhancing the overall quality of health care locally.
The two volunteer assignments I am most interested in are assisting with the care of infants and children and enhancing the quality of health care. Volunteers that assist with the care of infants and children spend their time volunteering in a crèche. As stated on the CCS website the mission on the crèche is to provide basic care, attention, love and early childhood education to at-risk, vulnerable children who have been marginalized.
Volunteers seeking to enhance the quality of health care work with non-governmental organizations whose mission is to assist the disadvantaged. Project volunteers provide support for simple medical and health related check-ups and tests.
The first volunteer assignment, assisting with the care of infants and children, is similar to the honors project I completed during my senior year of college at Aurora University. My honors project was a service learning project I developed with the objective of empowering young girls in 4th and 5th grade through a series of workshops which were filled with group discussion and hands-on activities addressing topics such as success, goal setting, leadership, personal leadership style, and healthy body image. The second volunteer assignment, designed to enhance the quality of health care, aligns with my goal of becoming a physician and serving the most vulnerable, at-risk communities.
My goal is a 4-week volunteer trip to India which begins November 8th, 2014. The down payment is $350 and is due a minimum of 60 days before the trip date. The total cost for a 4-week trip to New Delhi is $4,456.
This fee includes:
a. Professional staff of local nationals
c. Comprehensive travel medical insurance
d. Ground transportation
e. In-country cultural activities and excursions
f. Language lessons
g. Personalized volunteer assignment
h. Local phone calls and incoming international phone service
c. Flights – estimated round trip airfare - $1,550 USD
d. Free time expenses/personal expenses
e. Personal items
a. Total CCS fee = $4,456
b. Estimated airfare = $1,550 USD
I am trying to fundraise $6,500 to pay for CCS's fee, the cost of airfare, a visa, and immunizations. Thank you for reading my story and thank you for your donation! If you have time be sure to share my story with your family and friends!
Books that have inspired me:
* Start Something that Matters by Blake Mycoskie
*Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
*To Repair the World by Dr. Paul Farmer
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