Solidarity Experiences Abroad offers volunteers a unique, experiential and transformative learning experience abroad by connecting career objectives with social justice activities and international community development projects.
Our program allows students and professionals to explore social justice through solidarity, culture and spirituality. Participants receive a hands-on experience by supporting a range of health campaigns, educational workshops and construction or renovation projects. They work alongside and in solidarity with local community leaders, grass-root foundations and local university students. Through their work, language classes, outings and lectures, participants are encouraged to engage with local communities to experience the diversity of our world’s unique cultures.
Our priority is to respond to the needs of each community we encounter based on continual relationships with local foundations. In addition, Solidarity Experiences Abroad supports faculties, educational institutes and businesses in developing international development projects by providing leadership training, project development and logistical services.
Since its inception, over 2,300 participants have made the decision to engage in this innovative program to South America and Africa. Approximately six trips are run each year over the summer holidays and reading weeks to various destinations including Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, South Africa, and Angola.
Medical Campaigns – One of SEA’s highest priorities is making a contribution toward the overall improvement of global health. Each year we bring over 100 nursing and medical participants who work alongside local medical professional to provide health services to thousands of people who don’t have access to a full health care provider. In partnership with local non-profit organization, SEA organizes health campaigns in rural communities, shantytowns and villages, and in low-income schools. Also, nursing and medical students may have the opportunity to shadow doctors and RNs in local hospitals. We also provide training to locals in rural communities to promote sustainable practices.
Educational Workshops – Many children living in developing communities around the world are experiencing an inadequate source of education, or are not in school at all. Through various educational workshops, English classes, and unique and fun science experiments for kids, SEA strives to provide children with a fun educational experience that helps them to grow and develop. Some people argue that teaching English can lead to cultural imperialism, however we believe that teaching a child English is critical for them to have access to more information and opportunities in today’s global society.
Construction or Renovation Projects – SEA works alongside our partnering organizations and members of the communities where we work to ensure our development projects are sustainable and abide by internationally recognized ethical standards. Our projects aim to help improve lives while providing a statement of equality and respect for human dignity amongst our brothers and sisters living in need. Some of our construction projects include: pre-schools, medical out-posts, staircases, community centres, and the renovation of schools.
Fundraising for your trip – SEA encourages participants to try and raise funds to help cover the cost of their trip. Many participants in the past have raised 100% of their fee through a variety of individual and group fundraising methods. To raise funds as a group, it’s up to your trip leaders to coordinate your fundraising activities and decide how to distribute the funds. If you would like to raise funds as an individual, we suggest writing a personalized letter asking for support from your friends, family members, colleagues, church groups, sports teams, local organizations, etc. It is fair in asking others to also be apart of this expedition by investing in your life so you can invest in the lives of the people you reach while abroad. Our staff can provide you with some guidance on how to best make this approach.
Please note: any personal monetary donations that you receive to fund your trip cannot be tax-deducible. Solidarity Experiences Abroad is not a registered charity, and therefore by law cannot issue tax receipts. Also, our staff must first approve any donation letters that are being printed on an SEA letterhead.
Collecting donations – Each year, participants traveling with Solidarity Experiences Abroad are encouraged to collect donations to bring with them on their trip. Most airlines allow two suitcases of 50Ilbs each. It has become a tradition for each student to collect enough donations to fill one suitcase with donations while using the other suitcase for personal belongings.
Donations collected by each participant are given to directly to non-profit organizations and foundations that SEA has partnered with internationally. SEA’s leadership team supervises the distribution of these donations to ensure that they are used for their intended purposes. After spending some time in their volunteer placements, participants are able to distribute their donations to the various organizations and placements they have been working in. The donations are greatly needed and appreciated by members of the community.
The items that are needed for donations are generally the same for each country we visit. Further information specific to each country – due to specific projects – will be given during the mandatory pre-departure orientation meeting. Participants may also collect monetary donations. These donations are used to fund SEA’s various development projects that participants assist in while abroad.
Our staff can support you during your fundraising and donation collection endeavors. We can provide you with a letter template that you can use when collecting donations from various organizations/corporations.
If you would like to have a signed thank-you letter sent out to anyone who made a significant contribution, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with his or her name and address. Please mention what the contribution consisted of and their relationship to you.
For more information about donations please contact: email@example.com
Raoul Masseur, President SEA Inc
Sabrina Jancsi, Manager SEA Canada
Raul Gonzalez, Secretary SEA Peru
William Manrique, International Projects Developer