#4 “Cultural Immersion”
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Be The Change – Episode #4
Continuing with an inside look at local culture, three of our storytellers return to reflect on life from a new perspective. Each volunteer sites how Global Volunteers programs immerse them in daily life, exposing the true nature of a community.
Lynn returns in this episode to describe the generosity of people in Crete who, although they owned little themselves, gave generosity to help Syrian refugees at a time when it was very unpopular to do so. “They said, we’re going to help these people, because they’re human, and it’s the right thing to do.” She enjoyed an equally engaging spirit of unity in Cuba, living with local people – and basking in their hospitality and genuine appreciation for the team’s contributions.
Evan continues her story about volunteering in Romania. She notes the lasting impression that volunteers make in their host community: “It’s very much a relationship business,” she says. The impact is obvious to local people, she continues: “It breaks down the barriers. They realize these people keep coming back…it sends a huge message of love, quite honestly.”
Jeff tells about how a community reciprocates on International Women’s Day, as local people spontaneously poured out appreciation and fondness for the women volunteers on his team. “Once again, it was a sign that our Global Volunteers are so welcome in their community. They were made to feel so special.”
Episode storytellers: Lynn, Evan, and Jeff
I love the idea of immersion into a village culture. I admire these volunteers incredibly. We bridge gaps when we understand how others live, what’s important to them–yes, the lens is different but we can always look through it via these programs.