We are all part of communities: neighborhoods, schools, clubs, friend groups, sports teams and many more. You’re also a part of the Key Club community. We take part in these communities to feel supported, bond over a certain activity, or reach a common goal. In today’s increasingly interconnected world, we’ve all become part of a greater global community. We must be aware of how our actions and decisions affect people and environments around the world.
As Key Club members, you serve your communities by sharing resources, ideas and energy to address pressing challenges and create positive change. We all can strengthen the global community through hands-on service as well. In the same way that volunteering locally creates bonds with others in your local community, so does volunteering in the global community.
Our community service projects are often based in small and very rural communities, both in the U.S. and around the world. Our projects are designed in partnership with communities or organizations. We work with our partners to identify ways that our students can help address locally identified needs in a sustainable way. This may include working with parents, students and teachers in Thailand to build a new library for their school, assisting an environmental organization’s efforts to replant mangroves and restore marine habitats in the Fiji Islands, or teaching leadership skills to children in an underprivileged community in Costa Rica.
At their core, Rustic Pathways’ global service programs focus on getting students out into the world to work with people from other cultures and contribute to projects that make a lasting impact. The opportunity for cultural exchange and learning through these partnerships is very powerful. Our students bring outside ideas and culture to often very remote villages and, in return, our students learn about an entirely new way of life. Experiencing a new culture challenges us to open our minds and gain perspective on our own lives and assumptions. The lessons we learn often enable us to return home with better perspective on our lives.
Just as it is important that we all remain active members of our local communities through volunteering, it is also important that we remain engaged global citizens, aware of what’s happening in our home countries and throughout the world. It’s my hope that every student leaves our programs with not only a greater global understanding, but also a spark of curiosity to continue to learn more about the world and take an active role in creating positive change both locally and globally.
I invite you to join Rustic Pathways this year on one of 10 international service programs designed exclusively for Key Club members. Or contact our Group Travel Department to create a customized international service trip for your Key Club.
To learn more about how to get involved, you can visit us at www.rusticpathways.com/keyclub. Or get in touch with us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director, Global Community Service