SpanAfrica via Crowdrise
November 30, 2011
EVENT DATE: Nov 30, 2011
Providing hands-on assistance for their ambitious work is not only a life-changing experience for volunteers; it supports social entrepreneurs and communities in Africa as they find innovative solutions to their local challenges. As a GrowAbroad volunteer, you will have the opportunity to help make people's dreams for their community a reality.
The GrowAbroad program is rooted in the belief that people of many backgrounds from around the world can be instrumental to African organizations looking to improve or expand the work they are doing, but only when the volunteers receive adequate pre-field training and support that focuses on sustainability and responsibility to the local community and organization. SpanAfrica’s GrowAbroad volunteer program assists with all pre-departure preparation (both practical and educational), support during your time in Africa, and mechanisms for continued involvement with your Grassroots Partner placement and SpanAfrica upon your return.
We strive to provide quality services to both our volunteers and Grassroots Partners, and we employ and engage local staff whenever possible. Our overhead and US-based headquarter expenses are kept at a minimum due to the majority of our work being handled by the SpanAfrica Board of Directors, US-based volunteer staff, and African staff.
- Guidance to selecting amongst our vetted Grassroots Partners to find the project best fit for you
- Full preparation and support pre-departure
- Access to past-volunteers, and project and fundraising expertise and materials
- Facilitation of pre-departure communication with your African Regional Director and Grassroots Partner
- Homestay coordination for the entirety of your stay with trusted local families
- Hosting of your blogging and fundraising through our website
- Both international and local support throughout your time in Africa, and opportunities to stay involved with your Grassroots Partner and SpanAfrica after you return
SpanAfrica does much more than just assist you with travel preparations such as recommending vaccines and cheap airlines. We push you to think critically about and plan for the work you will be doing with your Grassroots Partner, and for the challenges you will surely face. We do this not only for your sake, but because we try very hard to only provide well-adjusted and well-prepared volunteers to our Grassroots Partners. Our international team has spent time in all of the locales you may be traveling to, and we are happy to share our personal insights as we work individually with you to ensure that all of your questions have been answered and fears addressed pre-departure. Before arriving, you will have opportunities to communicate with your Regional Director who will locally support you in Africa, the Grassroots Partner where you will volunteer, past and current SpanAfrica volunteers, and your homestay family.
Upon arriving in Africa, you will be met at the airport by a SpanAfrica Regional Director or representative. A first night's hotel stay and meal in your arrival city, and transportation from the airport to the hotel and to the locale where you will volunteer are included in your Program Fee so you don’t have to worry about money-changing upon arrival.
On the second day, you will be escorted to your homestay and given an orientation to your city or town so you can begin to feel comfortable in your new surroundings. The day after you will be accompanied to your Grassroots Partner organization and provided a tour and a chance to meet the people you will be working with. The SpanAfrica Regional Director and a representative of your Grassroots Partner will meet with you to do any final planning for your project and activities as a volunteer. These initial few days are meant to give you a sense of familiarity with the community you will be living and working with.
The time that you spend volunteering will undoubtedly be the highlight of your trip. We work extremely hard to match you with a Grassroots Partner that fits your interests and skills, and has a specific ongoing or new project in mind for you to focus on. We do not under any circumstances send volunteers where they cannot play a clear and valued role to an organization, and we do not provide volunteers for positions that could reasonably be filled by paid local staff. In fact, we are unique among non-profits working in this field in that our Grassroots Partners work with us to approve individual volunteer applications and develop volunteer projects. Your Grassroots Partner will receive a small stipend to cover all preparation and communication expenses associated with your stay.
Due to the amount of time and effort SpanAfrica and our Grassroots Partner put into this process, we expect our volunteers to work hard to prepare themselves fully for their project and work as a volunteer. The importance of connecting with your Grassroots Partner either directly or through SpanAfrica and spending significant time developing your project cannot be overstated. SpanAfrica is here to support you and facilitate that process.
You will also be put in touch with past and current SpanAfrica volunteers who have worked with your Grassroots Partner. These connections are extremely valuable, especially if you plan to work on an ongoing project. As a SpanAfrica volunteer you will also have access to a host of resources developed by our past GrowAbroad volunteers, Board Members, and Volunteer Staff for use in your own project.
Your homestay is a carefully selected family located within a reasonable distance of your Grassroots Partner. They will provide you two meals a day, a bedroom, and washing facilities. More importantly, they will become your extended family with whom you can experience African culture in a warm domestic setting.
Your homestay fee goes entirely to the family to help them recoup the cost of food, electricity, fuel, and other expenses associated with hosting you. The amount varies slightly from region to region, usually between $8 and $15 per day.