They say family gives you the roots to stand tall and strong; let us be the first to introduce you to our younger sibling, Squads Abroad! With Global Brigades and Squads Abroad working together our Holistic Model is set to be more impactful than ever! Just like your family, our family shares some similarities but each organization retains our own unique characteristics. In 2018, we brought Squads Abroad into our family to expand our volunteer base with high school students and further round out GB’s Holistic Model.
Over the last year, we’ve worked together to adapt the Squads programming to fit into the Holistic Model and from a volunteer perspective, this created an opportunity to level-up high school volunteers’ future opportunities to do more sophisticated development work through Global Brigades when they eventually graduate and begin attending a university! Global Brigades has given Squads Abroad a larger infrastructure to scale operations and make a deeper impact through community development!
Top 3 Differences Between Squads Abroad and Global Brigades
We bet you’re wondering, what are the differences between Squads Abroad and Global Brigades if they are part of the same organization? Not to worry, we are here to clarify! Check out the 3 key differences between the two!
University vs. High School
– While both programs offer the incredible opportunity to empower under-resourced communities abroad, the main difference is that Global Brigades offers programs to university students while Squads Abroad offers programs to high school students. Squads are comprised of high school students and the faculty members that lead them who mobilize abroad for positive social change. collectively with Squads Abroad, we have mobilized more than 80,000 university and high school volunteers as one of the largest empowerment initiatives.
– One of the most unique aspects of Squads Abroad is the cultural immersion component of all their programs. Each skill-based program offers unique opportunities for students to elevate their cultural competency based on the unique community they work with. From traditional batik fabric dyeing in Ghana to cow-milking and cheese-making workshops in Costa Rica, each activity exposes students to a unique aspect of the country’s culture.
– In participating in these activities, high school students learn about the country’s history on a deeper level and have the chance to learn from and bond with local community members.
– While Squads Abroad’s supplementary focuses on cultural competence, Global Brigades’ programs support independent leadership. This means Global Brigades volunteers get to deepen their understanding of international development from our strongest local community leaders and staff members.
– Global Brigades even offers Student Leadership Conferences and Global Leadership Institutes which focus on bringing together leaders to experience the Holistic Model and think critically about volunteering abroad.
Behind The Scenes with the New Holistic Model
The Holistic Model is how we meet a community’s health and economic goals. This model demonstrates how each squad and brigade type are a part of a larger movement of volunteers and year-round development work that helps break the cycle of poverty.
The Holistic Model graphic demonstrates how our three broader programmatic focus areas: Sustainable Health Systems, Economic Development and Water & Sanitation Infrastructure systematically work together. Previous versions of the model were presented in a linear order, but it is more dynamic than that! We begin partnering with communities at different points in the model and some need more strengthening in one of these areas prior to beginning to work on others.
The Holistic Model helps us actively engage with a community’s needs, helps the community form strong leadership and organization, and seeks to build a continuous partnership through the hard work of volunteers, staff, and community members. We are excited to add Squads Abroad to it!
How Can You Get Involved