The youth of today will be the leaders of tomorrow due to rapid advances in technology and globalization. International volunteer programs are one of the best activities that will prepare your children for an increasingly global community.
At Jamaica Volunteer Expeditions we allow students to experience a true cultural immersion and view the world from a different perspective. With a vast array of projects and destinations, the entire journey is customizable for each group or individual participant. However, even though students will have the opportunity to choose their own path, they will not have free reign to roam without purpose. Our philosophy of “controlled independence” allows students to experience the Jamaican lifestyle and culture within reasonable boundaries.
The unfamiliar settings and cultural differences associated with foreign countries can often make parents feel concerned about their children’s well-being. Safety is a serious matter, which is why we take multiple steps to ensure the well-being of each participant. Accommodation, transport, supervision, and healthy meals and drinking water are just a few key steps outlined in our Safety-8. To alleviate any additional parental apprehensions, be aware that participants will be adequately briefed before, during, and after each trip.
Before the Trip: preparing and Planning
Before departing for Jamaica, each volunteer will undergo a phone or Skype session with his or her Project Adviser to determine the most appropriate project based on the volunteer’s interests and aspirations. Then, each volunteer is provided with an in-depth volunteer handbook where he or she can access all documents pertaining to the project, including safety and cultural adjustment files. Prior to immediate departure, volunteers will participate in a mandatory pre-departure session to review and clarify the entire process.
During the Trip: Safety Precautions
During the trip, an in-country coordinator will be present to supervise the project, accommodations, and transport. At each volunteer location, on-site coordinators will oversee activities and provide guidance. Parental anxiety can also stem from potential language barriers, which can be flagrant issues in foreign countries. However, communication is not a concern in Jamaica, as it is the largest English-speaking island in the Caribbean.
Traveling overseas can sometimes involve an element of risk or hazard; however the necessary precautions are taken to ensure both physical and emotional safety. Coordinators will be on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure availability in the unlikely circumstance that an emergency arises.
If friends, family, or other loved ones need to reach their children while they are in Jamaica, a phone number will be provided before the participant’s departure. Our programs host a majority (greater than 90%) of student participants; therefore we are highly experienced in looking after teenagers and young adults. Our business is to ensure volunteer safety – and we do not take that responsibility lightly!
After the Trip: Cultural Appreciation
The next generation of leaders will oversee a diverse, international community. Traveling abroad to volunteer or study is an essential component of each student’s global education. Whether your child’s participation is through a teen volunteer summer program, alternative spring break, or has been arranged independently, be mindful that this experience will be a positive impact on his or her future.
Concepts, ideas, and activities are not confined to a textbook or classroom.As your child works side-by-side with locals, he or she will make new friends and build creativity, confidence, and compassion. These core values will last a lifetime, and provide powerful commentary for college applications.