CCS Selected for America's Unofficial Ambassadors Initiative

Mar 15, 2011, 16:59 ET from Cross-Cultural Solutions

CCS listed as a recommended organization in new initiative to build peace between America and the Muslim World

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y., March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) was chosen as a recommended organization for Creative Learning's new America's Unofficial Ambassadors (AUA) program, an initiative aimed at "Building Peace through Service in the Muslim World."

After over a year of researching more than 1,000 organizations, Creative Learning chose to list CCS in the new AUA Directory as one of the 36 recommended organizations offering safe and meaningful service opportunities in the Muslim World. CCS was chosen for its program in Morocco which receives volunteers on programs from 1 to 12 weeks long. CCS Country Director, Mohamed Mhmmoudi, had a six-year career with Peace Corps Morocco prior to joining CCS.

AUA Director Benjamin Orbach said, "There are terrific organizations out there doing meaningful work that changes lives, but people don't know about them...With the AUA Directory, we have created the premier resource for Americans to identify short-term volunteer opportunities that build people-to-people partnerships in Muslim-majority countries."  

Starting in spring 2011, AUA will also offer scholarships to support under-represented Americans of all ages to volunteer in the Muslim world with a program listed in the AUA Directory. The AUA Mosaic Scholarship, up to $5,000, can be used to cover program fees and/or travel expenses in 2011. Applications will be accepted through email on a rolling basis from March 15th through August 31st, 2011.

International volunteering has increased visibility this year, especially because of the Peace Corps' 50th anniversary, which will be celebrated throughout 2011. Steve Rosenthal, Founder and Executive Director of CCS, was inspired to start a short-term international volunteering organization after volunteering with his friend, a Peace Corps volunteer. Since the Peace Corps was founded, countless alternative options and models of volunteering abroad have been developed.

"50 years ago when the Peace Corps began, international volunteering was viewed as somewhat of a 'radical' idea," Rosenthal said. "Even 15 years ago when CCS was founded, volunteering abroad was still considered unconventional. But, it's truly an inspiration to see far this field has come in 50 years."

The AUA program and scholarship is just one of the more recent initiatives to promote international volunteering. Re-launched in 2011 as a video contest, Travelocity's Travel for Good contest allows prospective volunteers to enter to win one of four $5,000 grants to volunteer with CCS or other partner organizations; entries are accepted until March 31st, 2011. Launched in 2010, ServiceWorld, an initiative to expand international service opportunities, is continuing to gain momentum and support nationwide through an online petition: http://ourserviceworld.org/take-action/.

About CCS

CCS (http://www.crossculturalsolutions.org) was founded in 1995, and has supported over 25,000 people to volunteer abroad in 12 countries around the world. As a not-for-profit organization with no political or religious affiliations, CCS brings people together to work side-by-side while sharing perspectives and fostering cultural understanding.

SOURCE Cross-Cultural Solutions



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