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Review for The Tandana Foundation, Spring Valley, OH, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

The Tandana Foundation is unique in that it looks to empower local indigenous communities to enact the change necessary for its members to lead better lives rather than imposing what it believes would be best. The community members collaborate with one another to determine what needs must be addressed, what resources will be necessary, and how can they can carry out local projects. Tandana steps in to aid in the provision of those resources and strategizing when appropriate. This method is effective a great deal because Tandana has become a part of the community: there is a deep understanding the community's people, values, and aspirations.

As a volunteer for a week-long trip, I learned to focus on more than just the work at hand. I became familiar with the history behind the community's culture, the lives of those living there, and the significance behind what aspects of their life that I participated in. Simultaneously, I was developing cross-cultural and intergenerational relationships that would allow me to understand and appreciate the work of Tandana. Since attending a service trip under the guidance of Tandana a year ago, I have carried the experience with me as a reminder to constantly seek understanding with those that I interact with. It is necessary in order to create meaningful relationships, know how to help others, and understand oneself to a greater extent.

Role:  Volunteer