The Cultural Volunteers module of FAWCO's Youth Program is designed to foster cultural awareness and volunteerism among FAWCO youths. FAWCO teens aged 15 - 18 are hosted by FAWCO families for a week, and will experience a new culture while volunteering with local charities, working side-by-side with local teens. As part of the program, the participants will create a video about their experiences, and write individual essays reflecting on what they learn. Participants will be able to receive community service credits required by their International Baccalaureate program.
Here are just a few excerpts from reflections by our Youth Cultural Volunteers:
"I made new friends in the UAE --- Emirati teens, who helped us learn more about their culture. Believe me, we may dress differently and practice different religions, but teenagers around the world are pretty much the same --- we're all goofy, curious, and hoping our generation can improve life for all of us."
"In the end, what matters is that you have raised your personal awareness of poverty. And maybe it would have inspired you by then to grab the initiative and take part in a bigger project."
"It was nice to be able to go outside the tourist destinations and contribute to the lives of others who may not have the same luxuries as we do back in our own countries."
"[It was] a wonderful group of people. . . These friendships will last a lifetime. . . I am proud of what I feel I have accomplished with the group, and look forward to hearing about FAWCO Youth’s continued development."
The pilot Cultural Volunteers Program was held in Dubai in July 2013, hosted by AWA Dubai.
The 2014 Cultural Volunteers Program was held in Shanghai in July 2014, hosted by AWC Shanghai.
The 2015 Cultural Volunteers Program was held in Mumbai in August 2015, hosted by AWC Mumbai.
The 2016 Cultural Volunteers Program [http://www.fawco.org/global-issues/youth-program/cultural-volunteers/dublin-2016] was held in Dublin in June 2016, hosted by AWC Dublin.