Leadership Application Process
Crossroader with students
Operation Crossroads Africa seeks unique individuals with proven leadership ability and experience to serve as leaders for work projects in Africa for Summer 2017. Operation Crossroads Africa is a U.S.-based, international, private voluntary organization that sponsors cross-cultural exchanges and small-scale service projects in Africa.
For six weeks each summer, groups of eight to ten Crossroads volunteers, a Crossroads group leader and local volunteers join with a community on a project that involves local people and Crossroaders working together.
Most projects are in rural areas and Crossroads volunteers live in the community in which the team works.
Crossroads leaders must be patient, tactful, stable, reliable and resourceful. Diversity - racial, ethnic, gender, regional and educational - is a primary goal of the Crossroads recruitment effort. Though most Crossroaders are college students and young professionals, there are no set age or occupation requirements. Leaders will have to deal with the many tensions arising within such a disparate group of people living in close, and at times uncomfortable, quarters.
Leaders will have to cope with the unexpected and must be able to communicate effectively with team members, local and national officials, as well as U.S. officials and diplomats.
Leaders are responsible for stimulating interest and cooperation among volunteers and for guiding them in attaining greater contextual understanding of the experience.
Leaders are provided with all program expenses, transportations to orientation, and a modest honorarium.
Who should apply?
Crossroads leaders are selected based on a combination of the following criteria:
- Must be 25 years of age or older;
- Be knowledgeable of the history, peoples, cultures, politics and economic development of Africa;
- Have had recent experience with cross-cultural and/or racially mixed groups;
- Have had previous group travel or living experience; have had previous travel experience, particularly in developing regions of the world; and
- Must be able to demonstrate group leadership.
Preference is given to applicants with prior travel experience in Africa.
Crossroads also is seeking applicants for specialized projects in Africa in preventive medicine and health education. These applicants must demonstrate that they have the requisite credentials and experience for these projects.
Applicants for the group leader positions must fill out The Program Application and write responses to The Crossroads Scenarios listed below.
- A completed online Program Application with responses to Scenarios.
- A letter from your physician attesting to the fact that you have received a comprehensive medical examination within the past six months and that you have no known physical or psychological conditions that would affect your participation in the program.
- A non-refundable application fee of US $25.00. The application fee can be paid online when you submit your application.
Deadline for leader applications for the 2017 Africa Program:
February 1, 2017
Mail documents from parts II and III to:
Operation Crossroads Africa
P.O. Box 5570
New York, NY 10027
The Crossroads Scenarios
Please read the following scenarios and prepare a response for submission with your online program application that:
- Identifies the issues raised by the fact patterns;
- Presents approaches for how you as a leader would deal with the issues; and
- Discusses possible consequences of using various types of approaches.
You arrive in your country after a tortuous, much delayed 27 hour trip. Half of your group’s luggage has ended up on a flight to Tokyo. Because of delays in arriving in your host country, no one meets you at the airport. It is 3:00 a.m. The telephones at the airport are not operable. There is no airport transport except taxis. A taxi driver tells you that he will take you into town for $25.00 a head—there are 12 people in your group. The airport bank is closed, and you have Travelers Checks only. It has begun to rain heavily.
The airport authorities tell you that the airport is closing immediately and your group must leave the terminal. A group member informs you that he has contracted malaria and becomes hysterical, shouting that he is going to die unless he is seen by an American or European doctor right away.
After resolving Part A and meeting with the local project sponsor, you are immediately placed on a bus (without an escort) and sent to your project site/village. You are told it is a ten-hour trip. The bus will actually stop at a town about 30 km from your village. Your local counterpart will meet you at the bus stop and transport you to the village. The ten-hour bus ride actually takes 15 hours; and when you arrive at 7:00 p.m. instead of 2:00 p.m., no one is there to meet you. Four members of your group have become violently ill from the bus trip and two more now insist that they too have malaria. You spot a local bar/restaurant/disco.
After seven days in the village, interpersonal relations among group members begin to deteriorate. Three black group members begin to accept regular invitations to dine with the chief of the village who is anxious to personally become acquainted "with his black brothers and sisters from America." The six other group members become angry and complain that the chief is splitting the group along racial lines. The three black group members refuse to stop visiting the chief. The local project sponsor becomes aware of group tensions and wants to intervene.
To appease angry group members, he threatens to have the chief publicly reprimanded by local government officials for interfering in group relations. Simultaneously, one female group member begins to scold another female participant, believing that she had sexual relations with one of the village counterparts, claiming that she seduced him.
Another participant has begun to frequent a group of young people known to be involved in drug-related activities, in spite of your continued warnings. The project sponsor informs you that the group is being watched closely and this is an issue of concern to her. You find the remains of a controlled substance in the vicinity of the lodgings site. Two other male participants regularly engage in heated political discussions with student counterparts who are members of an anti-government organization. The organization speaks out against inhumane punishments meted out to government officials labeled as corrupt. They inform you of their plan to travel to the capital with student counterparts to take part in anti-government demonstrations.
Your group has been in the village for ten days with no project. A representative of an international aid organization passes through the village and offers to provide materials for building an experimental latrine. The village elders feel that the old pit latrines are fine, but would prefer to have an addition to the local school. The central government has promised to provide an additional teacher, thus adding an instructional level at the school. Local youth will then be qualified to enter secondary school. As chance would have it, the same materials provided by the aid organization can be used to build the new classroom.
The representative from the aid organization has stated that while he understands the village desire for the classroom, he is strictly accountable for the materials for the latrine in two weeks when the project should be halfway completed. Meanwhile, the village elders have decided not to encourage the villagers to work on the latrine project.
Meanwhile, your group members are "up in arms" about the ineptitude of CROSSROADS and you as the group leader for the following:
- Their missing luggage;
- The local sponsor not meeting them at the airport;
- Not arranging proper transport to the village; and
- Selecting you as their leader since you have never been to Africa before.
Leader Reference Form:
Download reference forms here:
International Group Leaders Reference Form
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