One International Truth About Children

One thing that unites children the world over is their love of new experiences. On their journey to adulthood, kids learn life’s lessons through daily interactions with the people who surround them.  It’s where trust, generosity, strength, love, curiosity, and insight are formed.  Our community partners invite us each year to help extend children’s foundation for adulthood in summer programs of learning and play.

summer service program

“These camps tell the kids they matter,” said Reverend Laura Stanley (seated, second from right), Global Volunteers’ community partner on the Rosebud Reservation of South Dakota. “Showing love to the children through the program and through feeding them means that the parents know someone else cares.  Someone else is paying attention to us.”  More than 97% of the children qualify for free lunch.  “We feed their bodies, mind, and soul,” she said.

Greece summer program

Crete language school teacher Celia Kopaka said:  “Having Global volunteers over at my English language school promotes an international conscience. As we have hosted volunteers over the last couple of years, students remember them and look forward to them coming every year. They nurture warm feelings towards the ‘Americans who come to talk to us!’” Volunteer Amy Fairchild pictured here in 2018.

Summer English language camp

“Learning a foreign language with a native speaker is the most effective method,  giving the best and the fastest results in studying English,” said Global Volunteers Poland Community Partner Marek Blaszczyk. “In addition, the children and staff enjoy learning a lot of interesting things about the United States first-hand from the volunteers who live there. This way of learning  is particularly attractive when this information is shared by peers, for example, children-to-children.”

volunteer in Romania

Volunteer David Sellers with his summer school class in Birlad, Romania. Vasile Parvan School Principal Daniel Stefanica said the volunteers offer opportunities that aren’t available any other way to students. “Romanian students want to learn as much as they can, knowing this is the only way to get a better life for themselves – and consequently for their country. English gives them that. Besides these practical reasons, they just want to know everything you can share with them about another culture so they better understand the world they live in.”

Scenes from Around the World:

This album from recent summer programs in, South Dakota, Greece, Poland, Romania, and Tanzania captures the predictable energy, excitement and educational value of uniting volunteers and kids in new experiences!

Global Volunteers first experimented with the concept of summer English language “camps” at the request of our Poland community partner in 1991.  At the bucolic setting of Reymontowka, the itinerary was designed with equal measures of learning and adventure. Children from the Siedlce district (many of whom we taught in classrooms during the school year) were offered a coveted 2-week opportunity to work with native English speakers in a decidedly camp-like setting.  The free-form program offered campers an English-language “bridge” between the school years to keep their skills fresh.  It was such a success for students and volunteers alike, that we expanded the program to other countries thereafter.

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