Operation Crossroads Africa is a U.S.-based, private voluntary organization that sponsors cross-cultural exchanges and small-scale development projects in Africa. For 7 weeks, teams of 8-10, a Crossroads leader, and volunteers join with a community on a project involving locals and participants working together.
Tentative English-speaking host countries: Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda
Tentative French-speaking host countries: Benin, Niger, Senegal and Togo
The Africa Program has three components: three orientation days before departure, six work weeks on a development project in the host country, and one travel week in the host country.
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 an international 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, and you will live and work with hosts who have designed the project.
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.
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.
Crossroaders engage in five types of projects:
- Community Construction/ Development Projects
- Community Health/Medical Outreach Projects
- Agriculture/Reforestation Projects
- Education/Training Projects
- Women’s Development Projects