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Chris Blackwood is a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco, working in the Youth Development sector. He works with the Ministry of Youth in Morocco, serving as an English teacher, youth program developer, and an aid in the promotion of cultural awareness. He is conducting his service from September 2007 until November 2009, in Tinjedad, Morocco.
We facilitated a workshop to identify, breakdown, and correct, common stereotypes about Americans and Moroccans. 20 youth, and five youth leaders participated in the two-hour discussion.
|Moncef Ben Gharbia is the Mayor of Bizerte, Tunisia.
Currently serving his second term, he is passionate about the development of
his city. He's a career politician who has dedicated his life to improving
We interviewed him, discussing important issues relating to the growth of his city and it's inhabitants. We also talked about Tunisian and American relations and politics, gathering his insight on how America can improve it's foreign development policies.
|A group of 15 students from Insat University (Institute of
Applied Sciences and Technology) in Tunis, Tunisia, who participate in at least one of four
extra curricular clubs: the Biotechnology, Chemistry, Theater, and Radio.
We facilitated a round-table discussion about the students' values and goals. We talked about how stereotypes are roadblocks to these ambitions and how to overcome them.
|The vision of Youth Association for Population and
Development covers a wide range of issues including: women and children,
volunteerism, health, information and international communication,
environment, education, rural-urban immigration and training throughout
Egypt. Through all
these areas, the organization attempts to serve youth and encourage their
participation in building their society.
We discussed the various motivations the volunteers implement to become involved in their communities. We talked about volunteering, its benefits, and how to get more people involved.
|Resala is an unconventional youth-fueled charity
organization in Cairo, Egypt that focuses on youth volunteering to help other youth. Some of
the programs they offer are: computer courses, literacy courses, free
lessons for school students, services for the blind, the deaf and special
needs children, hosting and raising orphaned children, collecting and
distributing used clothes to the poor, distributing food for the poor, a
regular monthly blood donation campaign, direct assistance to poor families,
and free medical checkups.
We spoke for a few hours with 15 volunteers of this organization to learn how their values, motivations, and endeavors in life are influenced by Islam.
|The community of Deir Mar Musa has three priorities. First,
to create an ambience of silence and prayer and emphasize that monastic
life is an essential element of both the Christian local soul, and of the
cultural, symbolic, and mystical world of Islam. The second priority is
living in harmony and full responsibility with Creation and the
surrounding society. The third priority is that of hospitality. They seek
to give up a culture of separation in order to build a culture of
communion. The perspective is that of building a positive
Christian-Islamic relationship. The monastery is also engaged in
organizing workshops and seminars, which will facilitate the exchange of
experiences and ideas. Their hopes and dreams are far-reaching and open
lines of communion to numerous parts of the Islamic world.
We had an in-depth conversation with Padre Paolo about the goings on of Deir Mar Musa and the endeavors of it's harmony building goals. We discussed religion, history, politics, struggles, successes, possibilities, connections and hopes for the future.
|Future Foundation is an organization in Rakitovo, Bulgaria
that aims at developing and educating the Roma minority in the community.
We worked with Future Foundation to facilitate a community discussion as well as two discussions in a local school about different perspectives on Bulgarian accession into the EU.
|The Yo Ho Hostel in Varna, Bulgaria is run by four
environmentally passionate, just-hearted folks. They are constantly
involving themselves in community actions, environmental workshops, and
For our Earth Day celebration, Supercross08 worked with the Yo Ho Hostel to organize the best beach clean up that Varna, Bulgaria has ever seen!
Supercross08 helped with PECSD's paper recycling campaign and assisted in the installation of a solar collection system as part of their alternative energy campaign.
The Council for Unity is an organization of around 60 youth leaders who
participate in organizing and implementing community events in the areas
of mass media, sport, and culture. Some examples of their activities are:
a big brother/big sister program with the local orphanage, summer sports
camps, running a school newspaper, debate competitions between students
and teachers, community cleanups, as well as anti-smoking and HIV/AIDS
We spoke about their motivations for volunteering and being active in their community. We discussed problems in their community and potential ideas to overcome these problems.
The mission of Metropolitan Library System of Ulaanbaatar is to provide
quality materials and services in a professional and courteous manner to
people of all ages and backgrounds and to actively participate in the
cooperation activities of an international library community.
As the first public library in Ulaanbaatar of it's kind, there's an issue over community interest and participation. I facilitated a brainstorming session for ideas to effectively get the community involved in library activities.
CouchSurfing seeks to internationally network people and places, create
educational exchanges, raise collective consciousness, spread tolerance
and facilitate cultural understanding.
Throughout the entirety of the Supercross08 project, we were able to use the Couchsurfing project as a way to gain valuable insights into local cultures. We established discussion groups, broke down stereotypes, made friends, and facilitated culture exchanges with this simple and friendly tool.