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Can you tell me more about what I would be doing if I volunteered for a Global STEM Squad?
Global STEM Squad volunteers travel to Central America or West Africa to participate in a one-week volunteer opportunity in remote communities. Global STEM Squads allow volunteers to participate in various activities to support clean water systems in under-resourced communities. This includes designing and building community water systems, conducting new and follow-up water assessments studies, studying land for water systems, and improving water flow and piping to improve access. Volunteers with all levels of experience and skills are welcome and encouraged to participate in our Health Squads.
I am interested in growing my STEM skills. How can Global STEM Squads help me?
Global STEM Squads is a fantastic opportunity for students interested in any field related to math, engineering, science, technology, and more. Our STEM Squads offer leaders the role to mobilize peers, to travel abroad, and to gain practical experience in rural communities in Central America or West Africa. Our one-week STEM Squads allow students the opportunity to gain real life experience that is invaluable for both personal and professional growth. Additionally, Squads serve as great topics for college application essays and as résumé items for volunteers’ professional development.
How is Global STEM Squads different from other volunteer programs I’ve heard about?
Global STEM Squads is unique in many ways. First, Squads Abroad acts as an empowering movement by offering a Holistic Model for sustainable development and healthcare in the communities we partner with. Unlike other organizations, we not only support our volunteers but also have an on-the-ground team that works with communities to improve community health year-round. Squads Abroad combats health, economic, and educational discrepancies in communities not only through medical clinics, but also through public health, water, and economic infrastructure projects. We also work with our parent organization Global Brigades to provide regular access to ongoing support until the community is ready to transition into a relationship of impact monitoring.
Is there a minimum or maximum number of volunteers for groups?
Each STEM Squads group needs a minimum of 6 volunteers and one adult chaperone. Chaperones participate for free without a donation goal. To fairly serve the community’s needs, this number is non-negotiable. There is no maximum volunteer number, and donation goal amounts become more affordable with larger volunteer numbers.
Where do the funds I raise go?
STEM Squads volunteers do not pay to volunteer with Squads Abroad. Instead, volunteers fundraise to support Squads Abroad’s Holistic Model. Once a volunteer meets a set Donation Goal, they are eligible to join us on-the-ground to see their fundraising efforts put into action by participating in a Global STEM Squad.
When a volunteer participates in a STEM Squad, the volunteer’s ground transportation, food, lodging, and emergency insurance are all covered. The funding that the volunteer raised also supports all the necessary costs for program implementation, such as equipment, local engineers, translators, and support staff.
Visit our parent organization Global Brigades’ financials page to learn about how donor funds are utilized.
Is this safe?
The safety of student volunteers is Squads Abroad’s number one priority and is the single most important consideration when entering a community or choosing a project. Each country that Squads Abroad partners with has implemented safety protocols and policies to decrease any risk of danger and to ensure that any emergency can be properly handled in a prompt and professional manner. For more information on safety precautions, emergency procedures and insurance information, please visit the Safety and Security page on our website.
This sounds great. How do I get involved?
First, find out if your school has a Global STEM Squads Chapter by searching for your school on the Chapters tab. If your school does not have a Chapter, click the Lead a Squad button to fill out an application to start a chapter. You will be connected with a Squads Abroad staff member.