Maria Maki, 20-time Global Volunteer and Country Manager, shares her thoughts and experiences about the importance to build bridges between countries:
We sometimes forget what we have to learn from others just outside our own borders – as well as half-way around the world. What you find is more often than not what you expected – or what you’re expected to believe.
I had the honor to work as China Country Manager for Global Volunteers in 1998. I found the people to be warm, helpful, friendly and interesting. I led teams to teach conversational English. These nine months of people-to-people contact was far different from what I read in the media or heard from politicians… This type of bridge-building is apolitical and positive.
When I listen to the news about China, Mexico or most other developing countries, it’s most often negative. This is true for countries I have been to (about 15) worldwide. Go and travel and meet real people! We all want the same things, such as peace and safety. Don’t let the politicians or media persuade you that learning and serving others is anything other than mutually beneficial!
To read Maria’s full letter as it appeared in the Star Tribune, follow this link.
Build Bridges Between Borders – Read More Here:
You can learn more on this topic from other previous Global Volunteers. Start with these selected blog posts, written by volunteers and staff:
- “I have a very different view of Americans now…”
- “Teaching English in Mexico: Bringing Together the Peoples of Our Nations”
- “Pledge to Volunteer in 2017”
- “Ethical Volunteer Vacations: Choose Wisely to Ensure You Help, Not Hurt”
If you’re interested in becoming a Global Volunteer to help build bridges between borders, chat online with a Volunteer Coordinator. We’re ready to help you get started!