Help Me Get to Uganda & Rwanda!

Total Needed: $4,500

** I am so happy to share I received a $1,500 grant from the LAURENs Project, a Colorado organization that promotes international volunteerism. The additional $1,500 will not show up on this fundraising page. 

I've been given a great opportunity to support the Global Livingston Institute and College Track as a staff member on a unique immersion trip to Uganda and Rwanda in June 2014! I'll be attending as a representative of City Year, researching best practices and making connections with the aim of developing a similar program for City Year. This program would allow City Year corps members to accompany students from the schools in which they serve on similar trips, opening opportunities for global exchange to children that would never dream of world travel.

I can't wait to see the impact an experience like this can have on bridging cultural and historical distance, and to be a part of creating something similar for City Year. Many of the students participating in the trip have been impacted by poverty and violence. Opening up a dialogue with other students from Uganda and Rwanda who have also been impacted by poverty and violence will allow students to build a global classroom and be exposed to what students their age are experiencing around the world.

Participating in this meaningful dialogue will be an invaluable experience for every student involved and will strengthen them as leaders in their communities. It will provide them with skills to prepare them for higher education and to be a lifelong learner. During the trip, each participant will outline a community leadership plan, which will serve as the foundation for how each fellow will serve as a leader in his or her respective community upon returning from the trip. This will ensure that the knowledge students have gained through the experience will be passed on once they return.

Personally, I have participated in a similar trip as a student to Rwanda. Working with the Rwandan students and being exposed to the vast history and beauty of the country was something that lead me to study International Studies and participate in City Year. This is something I want the students I work with to be able to experience, as well. Help me to make this possible by donating to my campaign!

More about the Trip: Ten College Track students from various cities in the United States are participating in a two-week program with 10-12 Rwandan students involved in a similar program at the Sonrise Academy in Northwestern Rwanda. Myself, around 10 other staff members and these 20 fellows will travel together to four different communities in Uganda and Rwanda and their dialogue will culminate in a three-day retreat at Entusi Research and Resort Center, operated by the Global Livingston Institute.

More about the Global Livingston Institute: The Global Livingston Institute engages students and community leaders to positively impact communities in East Africa. They believe that in order to be successful we must: Listen. Think. Act.

More about College Track: The mission of College Track is to support students from the summer before high school until college graduation in their academic affairs, student life, college affairs and overall college success.

More about City Year: For the past year, I have served full-time in underresourced public schools with City Year as an AmeriCorps member. I have supported students who are off-track in attendance, course work and behavior by serving as a tutor, mentor, and role model. By providing these students with individual attention that targets their needs, I have seen them grow and move on-track to graduate from high school. I look forward to providing the same support to the students on this trip. By developing the groundwork for City Year corps members to take their students on similar trips in the future, I can take one more step in exposing a greater number of students to global travel, cultural exchange and international development to students that would have never had the opportunity otherwise.

If you have any questions/concerns, feel free to e-mail me at [email redacted]

Thank you!
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Shira Flesch 
Denver, CO
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