No. 18, 19, 20 – Volunteering Professional Services

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.
Tracey at Joshua Cooperative office
Brian helping with IT challenges

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.

About the Author

Tracey Carisch

Mom, wife, friend and change agent traveling the world with my family to learn our place in it. After spending a career in organizational change management and community initiative implementation, I put my career on hold for our family's trip around the world. In April of 2014 we sold almost everything we own, put the rest in a storage container, and departed on this journey. While my husband continued his software development work to financially support our trip, I planned and documented our adventure, homeschooled our three daughters, and found volunteer work opportunities for us to do in the communities we visit. Now that we've returned to the U.S., I'm completing book about our family's adventure and our lessons learned.

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