International Volunteer Touches the Lives of Street Children in South America

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An international volunteer through CrossContinental.org shares her experience working at a Street Children Project in Ecuador, South America.

Volunteer Abroad Assisting a Street Children Project in South America

Volunteer Abroad Assisting a Street Children Project in South America

It was a uniquely humbling and rewarding experience knowing that I was giving something to them, be it personal advice, school work help or just generally stimulating them as much as possible.

London resident, Liz Clark, recently volunteered abroad for 6 months through CrossContinental.org at a Street Children Program in South America. The project at which Ms. Clark took part was in Ambato, Ecuador, where she was responsible for helping street children with their homework, serving lunch, and helping to create crafts for fundraising. Ms. Clark stated that she really enjoyed this life-changing experience. In the attached video (http://youtu.be/ch0vZMgHFy0), Liz showcases the street children project abroad.

  • Support from Local Coordinators and Host Families

Liz Clark stayed with a host family in Quito during the orientation period of her trip and then traveled to Ambato to participate in the actual volunteer abroad project. She reports that she received comprehensive support from her host families as well as from the local coordinators during her 6-month stay. Liz said, "The local coordinators provided me with very useful instructions and invaluable advice and they were always on hand to help with any difficulty I might have."

She added, "From the moment I landed in Ecuador, my first, temporary host family made me feel at home and helped me settle in, even inviting me to visit family outside the city one weekend, which was a great early experience. My main host family was also very friendly, supportive and helpful; making me feel like it was my home too."

  • The Street Children Project

When it came to the street children project itself, Liz Clark said her philosophy was to always make the kids smile and laugh while learning because that’s what children are supposed to do, regardless of the problems they face at home. According to Liz, her most rewarding experience was the chance to boost the local children’s confidence and help change their lives in the process. She stated that while all of the children there were intelligent, some wouldn’t always be able to comprehend everything that the teacher said in a classroom full of 40 to 50 students, and they would consequently feel inferior as a result.

She gave an example of how she boosted one girl’s confidence when the girl complained that she did not understand. She said to the little girl, “Well, you will understand when I explain it to you because you're intelligent.” The girl first had a look of complete shock, which was soon replaced by an embarrassed smile. Liz commented, "I'll never forget the look."

  • The Volunteer Abroad Organization CrossContinental.org

Ms. Clark also reports on how she picked her volunteer abroad organization: "I initially chose CrossContinental after reading their comprehensive and helpful website. I was surprised when I continued to see the affordable program fees that included the host family stay and contribution to the charity project."

Summarizing her volunteer abroad experience through CrossContinental.org, Liz states, "I loved working with the poor children from the country and the street children. It was a uniquely humbling and rewarding experience knowing that I was giving something to them, be it personal advice, school work help or just generally stimulating them as much as possible. I´m definitely glad I stumbled across the [CrossContinental.org] website!"

Cross-Continental Solutions provides superb cultural exposure and learning experiences, at affordable rates. Additionally, they provide individuals with the opportunity to give something back to the community in a supported environment. Access free resources or plan a life-changing trip at https://www.CrossContinental.org.

About CrossContinental.org:

Cross-Continental Solutions Inc. provides affordable yet flexible international learning programs, including volunteer abroad, intern abroad, cultural immersion, language study, and gap year programs. International internships can even be taken for school credit. A large variety of work placement options are available such as: Teaching, Healthcare, Community Development, Business Coaching, HIV work, Care-giving, Orphanage Work, Journalism, Photography, Wildlife, Agriculture, Environmental Protection, Microfinance, Tourism, Marketing, and more. Programs are available at many locations around the world, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America. By living and working side by side with locals, participants gain an exceptional cross-cultural experience and the opportunity to truly make a difference. For more details, visit CrossContinental.org.

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Jian Leslie
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