Volunteering in Ethiopia got off to a whirlwind start the day after we arrived. Arranged through Cherokee Gives Back, Brian and I had meetings lined up with several local organizations. We’re putting our career skills to work as much as we can by helping with technology issues, strategic planning initiatives, and document development.
Joshua Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Berhan Bank, and Cherokee Consulting are local organizations working to advance the country’s infrastructure and improve the lives of its people. While these groups would have difficulty paying the large fees of external consultants, Brian and I can offer our professional services at no cost to them. We’re working with their employees to overcome some of the challenges they face.
Unlike other projects we’ve worked on during this trip, this service work will extend throughout our stay and potentially after we leave through remote communications with the organizations. For me, this has been a nice return to my career skills. When we left for this trip 7 months ago I walked away from a job I really loved. The opportunity to attend meetings with these new colleagues, brainstorm solutions with them, and collaborate on professional documents has made me realize how much I do miss having a “real job.”
We have a feeling these three service projects will be some of the most rewarding of our trip.