Journey for Change

Earlier this month, on September 3, lots of families welcomed home their inspiring, and inspired, kids from a volunteer vacation and learning service trip to South Africa. These 30 young people from Brooklyn were brought to Africa by the Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service program, a part of Malaak Compton-Rock’s Angelrock Project.

Malaak is pretty phenomenal, inspiring kids and adults to find ways to integrate service into their lives. She and her husband, comedian Chris Rock, have done more for more charities and NGOs than they let on, and make it a priority to instill the same values in their kids and the kids with whom they work. You can follow Malaak’s inspiring lifetime history of service in her book If It Takes a Village, Build One: How I Found Meaning Through a Life of Service—and 100+ Ways You Can Too. One of the premier programs she details in the pages, is Angelrock and the Journey for Change trips they take annually.

A group of teens and college-aged mentors from a Brooklyn community center travels to South Africa to see firsthand the township communities and to work on projects to improve and empower those difficult regions. Throughout the year, Angelrock serves as a trust that provides assistance to orphaned and vulnerable children, granny-led households, and people living with HIV/AIDS in Diepsloot, Johannesburg. When the kids come for two weeks, community projects are energized and enlivened by their enthusiasm and sometimes truly difficult discoveries—about the world and about themselves. In addition to the educational/volunteer time, they also tour and see a lot more: Soweto, the Apartheid Museum, Constitution Hill, a cultural village, and safari.

The kids come home with a new commitment to service in their own communities, and that spirit spreads like wildfire through their families and friends, transforming the lives of participants and so many more.

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