GCC on the Road in Ethiopia

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As the Education Officer at Global Concerns Classroom at Concern Worldwide, I have the privilege of working with some amazing people. From the staff in our Concern NYC office, who are my constant cheerleaders and inspiration, to the insightful teachers in NYC, Chicago, and Boston who jump hurdles to bring the world to their students in imaginative ways, to the students themselves – bright, young people who are courageous and energetic in their pursuit of learning about the far reaches of the globe.

A highlight to my role at GCC comes in the middle of the summer, when I get to accompany two  exceptional students and their teachers on a week-long overseas field visit to one of the 29 countries where Concern has humanitarian and development programs. I was thrilled when I learned from our headquarters in Dublin that this year’s visit would be to one of Concern’s oldest and well-reputed programs in Ethiopia!

This is me, learning to make coffee the Ethiopian way make coffee the Ethiopian way

This is me, learning to make coffee the Ethiopian way

In a whirlwind of seven days, we visited Concern’s programs, met expert field staff, and heard the tearful stories of the beneficiaries. After the visit, both students wrote to us about their experiences and how the trip had an impact on them. I’d like to share a bit about each student and their stories…

Hannah with the root of a false banana plant

Hannah with the root of a false banana plant

Meet Hannah Zamor, a sophomore at The Ursuline School in New Rochelle, NY. She is brand new to GCC, bringing her passion for global issues and community service to the program. Along with 500 other students in three cities in the US, Hannah spent last year learning about global health issues in the developing world and the work of INGOs like Concern Worldwide in taking charge to alleviate them. Hannah never anticipated to be the winner of the field visit opportunity but she rose to the challenge of distant travel and opened her young self up to embrace the newness of Ethiopia. Of Haitian and Jamaican descent, she was often mistaken for Ethiopian while in country and people Oooohhed and Aahhhed at her lovely light brown skin. With her constant grace and wonderful charisma, we dubbed her our Ethiopian princess during the journey; here’s the princess’s story: Hannah’s Story

 

Havana making wild new friends

Havana making wild new friends

This is Havana Caso-Dosembet, a junior at Trevor Day School in New York City. She’s been an active member of the GCC club at her school for three years  now. Needless to say, the young woman knows a thing or four about the world! Focusing in on global health issues in particular this past year, Havana joined a cohort of 500 students in three cities who are on their way to active citizenship through the GCC program. Havana’s ability to step into any situation and take lead is truly obvious when you see her in action and this superpower didn’t take backseat when she entered the unknown in Ethiopia this past summer. Her constant curiosity, need to expand herself, and ability to introspect afforded her a great deal of new knowledge about the world beyond her home and in a way, about her home as well. Here’s  Havana’s Story.

As GCC launches into school year 2015-16 with a focus on Global Climate Impact, I can’t wait to continue working with students and teachers that make my job one of the best. For more information about GCC’s year-long program, including an opportunity to participate in next year’s field visit, check out the details here!