The program is designed to be a leadership development program – enhancing your global awareness, self-awareness and communication skills to become a responsible ‘Global Citizen’ that understands their responsibility towards global issues.
As a result, the program is distinctly different from other ‘voluntourism’ programs, but one where a position is created for a person with an important set of skills required by a school, NGO, organization etc. For the Global Citizen program, the types of projects are vast and each require their own set of skills.
However, generally they would like someone who can bring their experience to enhance the global awareness of those in the projects. For example, you could have a culture-sharing project, or teaching English, or running informative workshops on HIV/AIDs. My particular project was providing education (basic English, maths and science) at a shelter for disadvantaged youth.
I ran classes and workshops with four other people (all from different countries) on my project, learning from their different backgrounds as well as learning to work in a team to deliver our tasks. Many of the children were unable to attend school, and the role of the volunteers was to give them access to the world beyond what they knew. We helped the children learn about the world, our home countries, increased their confidence in writing and speaking English, and much more.
Therefore, while making an impact on their lives through education, I was also learning so much on an academic level. It was a practical leadership experience, complementing and enhancing my academic learning by challenging me in a foreign environment. I was able to navigate through working in a cross-cultural team, practicing my soft skills in communicating and presenting, and learning to do so effectively when English was hardly spoken.