Posts Tagged ‘orphanage volunteer’

Magicians Without Borders

magicrabbitIn the world of voluntourism, and even more often in the world of travel writing, hyperbole and clichĂ© can, sadly, be the rule and not the exception. The word “MAGIC” is tossed off without much thought–an entry level descriptor meant to evoke wonder and transformation. I can assure you that wonder and transformation abound on volunteer service trips…if only we had the vocabulary worthy of the experience.

This time, magic is the exact word, correct for meaning and implication, both describing and naming this organization that has spent more than a decade traveling to under-served communities—those in refugee camps, orphanages, and hospitals, often in war-torn regions. Magicians Without Borders strives to lighten hearts that are stuck in dark places. Since 2001, this merry band of magicians and theater teachers has gone to India, Ethiopia, Uganda, South Sudan, Iran, El Salvador, the former Yugoslavia, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, Thailand, Burma, Colombia, and disaster-struck regions of the United States (plus tours of US Veterans organizations). Sometimes it is with intent to delight and spark laughter, sometimes there is an underlying message with HIV/AIDS education themes or other relevant social and health content, and always it is with the desire to provide respite for heavy lives. So much of magic is in the skill of misdirection, or skillfully leading attention away from what is at hand, and toward something else you want an individual to see…if only for a moment…and that’s everything in these populations.

Find out more, and support the great heart-work of Magicians Without Borders.

One Heart Source–Dedicated to Tanzania’s Children

ohs_logoCollege is such a great time of creating rock-solid friendships–gathering souls to you with whom you will share your entire future. Your chosen family begins there for so many, and blood may be thicker than water, but that’s no match for shared dorm food. Those alliances, forged even as we discover and proclaim ourselves, will last a lifetime, and sometimes move mountains.

A group of UCLA students decided to change the world, and in 2008, they formed One Heart Source, an organization born of a need to take action against the AIDS epidemic that was (and is) devastating parts of Africa. In Tanzania, there were nearly 2.4 million orphans, about half of them orphaned due to HIV. The volunteer group dedicated itself to creating a sustainable home for orphaned and abandoned children, then later, added community-based programs in education, health, and empowerment.

If you want to get involved with amazing volunteer projects now in Cape Town, South Africa and Zanzibar, Tanzania–teams of volunteers perpetuate existing programs and create new directions and missions as well, during 4-week and 6-week placements. You live and work in villages and become a true member of the community during your stay. You’ll work in schools and other community locales, organizing English and health initiatives as well as sports and agricultural efforts. You’ll be completely immersed in a new culture, making everyday differences in the lives of your neighbors and new friends. Volunteer opportunities are available throughout the calendar year as groups engage in the programs in waves, building on the work of previous service travelers.

Programs as deep and wide as this don’t come along every day–explore, consider, support.