CHALLENGE YOUR PERCEPTIONS. CHANGE YOUR VALUES.
CHALLENGE YOUR PERCEPTIONS.
CHANGE YOUR VALUES.
START HERE
SPEND A SUMMER BUILDING BRIDGES TO AFRICA
SPEND A SUMMER
BUILDING BRIDGES TO AFRICA
START HERE
FIND THE DIFFERENCE MAKER INSIDE OF YOU.
FIND THE DIFFERENCE
MAKER INSIDE OF YOU.
START HERE
CROSSROADS: A CLEAR CUT, HARD-HITTING PROGRAM
CROSSROADS: A CLEAR CUT,
HARD-HITTING PROGRAM
START HERE

What is Operation Crossroads Africa?

A U.S.-based, private voluntary organization that sponsors cross-cultural exchanges and small-scale service projects in Africa.

For seven weeks each summer, teams of eight to ten participants, a Crossroads group leader and local volunteers join with a local community on a project that involves local people and participants working together.

In 2016, Crossroads will support projects in several African countries. We invite you to become a part of the Crossroads tradition as a participant or Crossroads leader.

 

Why volunteer
as a Crossroader?

Top Six Reasons to Volunteer Abroad with Operation Crossroads Africa:

  1. INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE

    Have an authentic immersion experience in Africa.  Living and working in a local community; eating local foods and grappling with the same daily concerns of the people in the host community.

  2. HISTORY

    Become part of a tradition of service that spans more than fifty years, which has a network of thousands of alumni worldwide who are working to make the world a better place. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy called Operation Crossroads Africa the “progenitor of the Peace Corps”, at a ceremony at the White House in honor of the 1962 volunteers.

  1. COMMUNITY SERVICE

    Do real work that has a direct impact for people in the host community and yourself.

  2. LEADERSHIP/SELF AWARENESS

    Be exposed to important leadership skills and concepts from the experiential learning module used by Operation Crossroads Africa which focuses on working within a group. Gain on-the-ground real experience working in a team, a proven desirable skill employers seek when recuiting new employees.

  1. PREPARATION

    Receive careful and expert guidance through every phase of the program.

  2. SAFETY

    Live and work in a safe environment.

 

The Crossroads Africa Program

The Africa Program focuses on service projects in selected African countries each summer. In 2016, the following countries have been selected as possible project sites:

English-speaking

  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Rwanda
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zimbabwe

French-speaking

  • Niger
  • Senegal
  • Togo

June 15 – August 10, 2016

  • 3 days of orientation
  • 6 weeks of work on a Crossroads Service Project in the host country.
  • 1 week of travel in the host country.

Preparation . . .

Upon selection as a participant, you will receive a general bibliography on Africa for your use. You are also encouraged to research your personal, academic, and/or professional interests. During orientation, the Crossroads experiential learning module is explained in detail.

Six weeks of work . . .

The time you will spend as a member of a Crossroads group is designed to provide an immersion in the culture of the host community. You will be part of a group made up of eight to ten women and men of various racial, cultural, regional, and educational backgrounds. Under the guidance of the group leader, Crossroads groups join with a community for six weeks on a project that involves local people and Crossroaders working together. All Crossroads projects are community-initiated.

Accommodations . . .

While there is some range in accommodations at Crossroads project sites, you will have to cope with some or all of the following conditions: living in close quarters; having no electricity or running water; cooking outdoors over a wood fire; and eating a modest, high-starch, low-protein diet. You will share responsibility for cooking, buying food, and doing domestic chores. Through living and working in a village community, you will be exposed in an intimate way to the languages, music, history and customs of your host country. With your team and hosts, you will help forge group-oriented solutions that incorporate the ideas of people whose assumptions may be very different from your own. All projects involve a component of physical labor and most are located in rural areas.

The pressure of communal living with persons from diverse backgrounds often is intense. However, what you have to gain from this experience far outweighs these temporary inconveniences and differences.

One week of travel . . .

One week of group travel follows the six-week Crossroads work experience. Using local transportation, these trips provide Crossroaders with the opportunity to see, touch, and feel more of the rich cultural life that is Africa.

 

Crossroads Service Projects

Operation Crossroads hosts service projects in several African countries each summer. As a Crossroader, you will live with other members of your team as a group in a village, often with only the basic amenities and without many of the modern conveniences Westerners take for granted. You will spend several hours a day in project activities. The project work may entail such activities as construction of a school, a nutrition survey or a tree-planting scheme. All projects involve a component of physical work, and most are located in rural areas.

You will also participate in communal maintenance chores. Through living and working in a village community, you will be exposed in an intimate way to the languages, music, history, and customs of your host country. With your team and hosts, you will help forge group-oriented solutions that incorporate the ideas of people whose assumptions may be very different from your own.

Crossroaders engage in five
types of projects:

  • Community Construction Projects
  • Community Health/Medical Outreach Projects
  • Agriculture/Reforestation Projects
  • Education/Training Projects
  • Women's Service Projects
Construction / Service

Community Construction/Service Projects

Many projects involve the construction of needed community facilities. Crossroaders and their local counterparts have cooperated in the construction of youth training centers, health centers, shelters for the disabled, village libraries, wells, and a myriad of other structures that the host communities have deemed vital.

In some instances, Crossroads teams build a facility from start to finish. In others, they work on a project that will be completed after teams depart. Most of the construction work is done manually, and, in this type of project, different approaches to gender are negotiated respectfully.

Health / Medical Outreach

Community Health/Medical Outreach Projects

Crossroads community health and medical outreach projects are designed to provide both public health education work and an opportunity to observe firsthand how health care is delivered with few resources and limited technology. Students of medicine, biology, chemistry, nursing, and nutrition, as well as emergency medical technicians, lab technicians, doctors, nurses, and nutritionists, are encouraged to apply for these projects.

Limited spaces are available. While we cannot promise a space in the community health and medical project of your choice, we try to match participants with their area of interest.

Agriculture / Reforestation

Agriculture/Reforestation Projects

Crossroads agricultural projects provide participants with the opportunity to use traditional methods of farming and explore the link between the vagaries of weather patterns and basic survival. Our teams have manually cleared land, planted seedlings, dug irrigation ditches, and tended and harvested crops for and with local villagers and youth groups.

Education / Training

Education/Training Projects

Increasingly, Crossroads has received requests to participate in education/training projects involving teaching English as a second language, early childhood education, youth recreation, and computer skills. Knowledge of French, or a local language is beneficial, but not required.

Women's Service

Women's Service Projects

Women’s service projects involve Crossroads participants working with local women to produce products for income generation. Participants gain a sense of micro-enterprise and its effects on the lives of women in traditional villages.