Global Volunteers’ Be The Change Podcast is a conversation about the expected and the unexpected; the active and the passive; the exhilarating and the daunting – all change that deepens life’s journey. Join us as we explore with seekers and humanitarians the changes they’ve experienced as Global Volunteers around the world.
Be The Change - The First 1000 Days. P1
Be The Change – Episode #34
This week’s episode gives us a glimpse into the life of infants and toddlers as we explore how early interactions can shape their future.
In the first of what we hope will be many conversations, we tap into the wisdom of a professional organization working to shape the lives of young children, ZERO TO THREE.
In part one of a two-part series focused on early interactions, Rebecca Parlakian, one of ZERO TO THREE’s resident experts, takes us on a journey to explore how the critical first three years of a child’s life can shape their future and how those interactions play a huge role in the child’s long-term success.
Rebecca and our host discuss the importance of the small actions and the role of parents and others who care for infants and toddlers in a child’s development.
Be The Change - Volunteering in Greece
Be The Change – Episode #33
This episode is a glimpse into a "day in the life" of a Global Volunteer in Crete - from the perspective of a volunteer teacher and the Greek team leader who guides her team.
Greece Country Manager Sam Pinakoulaki first describes the team's daily schedule at a typical Greek English language "camp." After a hearty breakfast together, we have a short team meeting and we walk through the vineyard to school, says Sam. After three hours of teaching conversational English, the volunteers join an hour of independent sports together with the students. The team returns to the hotel for an afternoon lunch, and to prepare for the next day's classes (and to keep the lessons fresh for challenging young students).
The volunteers are integrated into every part of daily life, says Peggy. That means sharing meals and conversation with their students day and night. "Family and food, and sitting down and breaking bread is a really important part of their life." For the two weeks of camp, she says, the students and volunteers are a special family.
The relationships cultivated over two intense weeks keeps volunteers returning year after year. Julia points to another volunteer who's served seven consecutive years. The care and precision in preparing her lessons illuminates the love and kindness she feels toward the students she's come to know. "It was incredible. She took a taxi, came back with bags and bags of supplies to make bird feeders with her students. I was amazed at her level of commitment."
Episode storytellers: Samantha, Peggy & Julia
Be The Change - New Year, New Beginnings
Hope = Action – Episode #32
This week’s episode takes us into the new year filled with thoughts of hope. Each of our four featured storytellers looks at cultivating hope through action, from a slightly different angle.
Peggy and her family had a year loaded with personal challenges so large that she felt as though the fabric of her family was ripping away. Peggy, her husband, and their children found hope while working together, teaching conversational English in Greece. Peggy believes that serving as a family facilitated healing and restored a balance in a unique and lasting way.
Abby, a photographer took her camera to Tanzania this past fall and found hope in the eyes, heart, and spirit of a community.
The desire to pass her love for travel and service on to her children is so strong for Julia that her 13th birthday present to each of them was a trip that centered on service. Julia sees hope for the future through what she shares with her children.
Mary has been on service programs to China multiple times. With changes in the political climate in the US, Mary worried about how she, as an American, would be viewed. She found hope for the future in her positive interactions with teachers in China.
Episode storytellers: Peggy, Abby, Julia & Mary
Be The Change - Why Give?
#31 – Why Give?
What are the advantages of donating to organizations doing work outside the United States? How important are financial contributions in the long-run? Some people may question if and how their own donations ultimately have an impact. Global Volunteers co-founders Michele Gran and Bud Philbrook, who married in 1979 and conceived the idea for Global Volunteers on their honeymoon in Guatemala, share facts and opinions about how contributions to their organization advances projects for at-risk children and families worldwide.
Episode storytellers: Bud and Michele
Be The Change - Unexpected Transformations
Unexpected Transformations – Episode #30
This week's podcast is highly personal and reflective - as our storytellers share how they've been changed since re-entering their daily lives after their volunteering experience.
Julia says she was transformed on the Blackfeet Reservation at a Sweat Lodge ceremony. "I almost see myself as who I was before the Sweat and who I am after. I felt such a profound sense of connection to not only the locals, but to all of humanity. It was powerful, really powerful."
Kate was "ready to pack up and join the Peace Corps,"after serving in Mexico and Ecuador, saying she struggled with how to employ her insights from volunteering. "How was I going to continue this shift in my life, knowing that leaving for two-and-a-half years wasn't an option?" So, she made a shift in her career to satisfy her craving for more meaning.
Volunteering with his sons in Tanzania was transformational, Tom said, because "seeing (them) grow and display their values, working in the orphanage in a philanthropic way" was one of his singular, proudest moments outside of daily life.
Gabe said months later now after his program, he has a profound sense of "needing to make the world better." In his busy life, he misses opportunities to help people. "I think, holy smokes, I'm so lucky. Through volunteering, you kinda get disrupted (in a good way)."
Marek offers a very long view - that of a host for volunteers who sees their impact on Polish students over more than 20 years. "These young people are the leaders; the future of our country. They are the second or third generation of people who learned English from Global Volunteers." Year after year, he says, volunteers transform his community in unmeasurable ways.
Everyone has a moment of transformation when serving others whole-heartedly. It takes risk, and it might not be evident immediately, but this shift is surely to catch up with you during moments of deep reflection. It's healing, and it's lasting.
Episode storytellers: Julia, Kate, Tom, Gabe, and Marek
Be The Change - Handwashing with Soap and Water
Life-Saving Action – Episode #29
In many developing communities worldwide, even the barest resources to protect health and welfare may be outside a family's budget. But, we know that a commodity as common as soap can and does prevent up to 80 percent of infectious diseases. The practice of washing with soap and water is more than 300 times as effective as any single immunization!
Emily, today's storyteller, explains the urgent, critical need for immediate action - to save children's lives in our partner communities and worldwide. In Tanzania, we're demonstrating how volunteers are helping to change a simple habit, and change lives - forever.
Episode storyteller: Emily
Customer ReviewsSee All
Interesting glimpse into the motivations of Volunteers who travel around the world to make a difference Heartfelt and earnest. Great host.