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Change Lives and Gain New Perspective by Volunteering Abroad Assisting Disabled Children

International Volunteers Helping Disadvantaged Children through CrossContinental.org Recently Return Home with New Perspective.

“It is one of the beautiful compensations in this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself”.- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Helping others is something that comes naturally to many. Unfortunately, with the growing need facing many communities worldwide, it often can be difficult to know who to reach out to. Add to that the costs that often accompany charity work and the situation can seem quite overwhelming, even to the most dedicated volunteer. Recently two American volunteers from Chicago, Patrick Hurst and Melissa Walsh, returned from volunteering in Nepal through CrossContinental.org. For minimal cost, they were able to experience the uniqueness of Nepali culture while providing aid to its most vulnerable residents.

Nepal faces many of the same struggles that plague North American society when it comes to caring for their “special needs” citizens. However, the situation is often far more grave due to many sociological differences, including wide-spread poverty, and a lack of access to proper healthcare and government assistance. Hurst and Walsh spent their time working with disabled children in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city. Such projects abroad provide education and training for children who are “differently-abled”, including those with Down Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, developmental delays and other mental and physical health issues. In the attached video (http://youtu.be/TW71F29jWSI), Hurst and Walsh showcase some of the work they were involved in, which included teaching and playing with the disabled kids.

Hurst reports that he found working with such children to be truly life-changing. “They really made this whole experience easy to wake up to every morning…when we bought them games and puzzles, their faces and enjoyment made the whole trip for me. I’ve learned that I shouldn’t take for granted what I have at home.”

Walsh echoed her friend’s sentiment, adding her appreciation for the invaluable experience provided to them by their volunteer organization. “Volunteering through Cross-Continental has been an overall amazing experience. It has been very affordable, [and] you definitely have a ton of flexibility and support throughout the entire program. This is definitely an experience I will never forget.”

Hurst added, “CrossContinental is a great organization that allows you to travel across the world to different destinations and experience new cultures, live a day in another person’s life, and work in whatever field your heart desires. They are very affordable! Especially for people on a budget, and they work with you so you get what you want out of the experience.” He continues, “The support that they show is also great! From the moment you first get in contact with them, they respond to emails right away with very detailed explanations. The local coordinator was also very helpful and supported us throughout our whole journey. Overall it has been a great experience I would never trade for anything.”

The common thread connecting many volunteer vacationers is the desire to live completely immersed in another culture, sharing time and talents that help others, and gaining the perspective and understanding that comes with walking in someone else’s shoes. The affordable programs offered by Cross-Continental are allowing more people to join in, sharing themselves and serving others along the way. In this era of entitlement and excess, there continue to be people who choose to care for the needs of others, and are committed to taking action to help alleviate their distress.

Hurst summarized his volunteer abroad experience by stating, “This whole experience has definitely made an impact on both of us. It has really opened our minds to all that’s out there and how people can go about their lives with so little. It has definitely taught me to not take anything for granted… We are definitely going to continue to help. We are going to try to send materials such as games and books back to the center and do some fundraising. I’m also going to try to recruit more volunteers and tell them about Cross-Continental and the great work they do. Overall this was a great experience! ”

Access free resources or plan a life-changing trip at http://www.CrossContinental.org.

About Cross-Continental Solutions:

Cross-Continental Solutions provides affordable yet flexible volunteer abroad, intern abroad, cultural immersion, language study, and gap year programs. A large variety of work placement options are available such as: Teaching, Healthcare, Community Development, Business Coaching, HIV work, Care-giving, Orphanage Work, Journalism, Photography, Wildlife, Agriculture, Environmental Protection, Microfinance, Tourism, Marketing, and more. Programs are available at many locations around the world, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America. By living and working side by side with locals, participants gain an exceptional cross-cultural experience and the opportunity to truly make a difference. For more details, visit CrossContinental.org.