Since 2008 the NextGen Academy has volunteered alongside local communities in 11 countries across southern and eastern Africa. Volunteers spend the first half of the program year at home in the US, developing their own international service project idea, raising funds, and gaining the skills and know-how to execute abroad. They are also spending this time planning logistics and networking with foreign contacts in order to make their project a success. NGA volunteers work with church communities, grassroots NGOs, and government ministries to coordinate service programs and educational workshops for a total of four weeks of service. In the past, international projects have included:
- Character education workshops for all age groups – lively, interactive lessons on universal virtues. (Integrity, creativity, value and confidence, leadership, entrepreneurship, dreaming big, etc)
- Leadership and training workshops for future educators
- Micro-loan training and seed funding for small businesses
- Community clean-up projects
- Orphanage volunteering
- Working with schools to develop extracurricular programs and after-school tutoring
- AIDS/HIV education and awareness
Every year NGA seeks to enhance the International Service Program with an emphasis on sustainable development at the community level. This is achieved through strong partnerships at the local level to promote local ownership and follow-through of projects and objectives.
Create a lasting impact in social and economic livelihood and well-being in the communities we serve, and through service, gain a deeper insight into ourselves and the world in which we impact
Assist community-based organizations in addressing social and economic challenges in the community through sustainable projects and ongoing international partnership
With strong partnerships at the community level, we believe there is the capacity to build mutually benefiting relationships as grassroots organizations gain the time, skills, and service of volunteers, while volunteers grow immensely through the cross-cultural communication and exposure. Volunteers gain a deeper understanding of specific economic and/or social challenges at the community level and are able to work with local organizations to mobilize action to address the issues directly and empower community members. Finally, with real hands-on experience, volunteers become advocates for the issue and their host organization even after their service period has ended.
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