Service Corps – Our Volunteer Community

Service Corps – Our Volunteer Community

Global Roots’s Service Corps assists local humanitarians plant Children’s Gardens all over the world to improve lives of orphans and disadvantaged children.

Do you want to be part of the Global Roots Service Corps?

Would you lend a helping hand to the children of Tendol Gyalzur’s home in Shangri-la, the 1,800 Baraka orphans in Kenya, or the students of our recently built school in Cambodia? Your contribution would make a sustainable difference to the children by giving them a chance to a brighter future.
Global Roots is searching for talent, passion, creativity, and skills. If you have the will, desire, and time to fulfill our values, please contact us.
We believe every dollar raised and donated should contribute to getting a child to a school, hospital, shelter, or family. Our missions are not vacations, but serious commitments to the children we are helping. We have goals, responsibilities, budgets, and timelines. We are not a large NGO with air-conditioned SUVs or five star hotel stays.
More often than not, you will live with or near the communities, but in very safe conditions, with guides and adequate sanitary conditions. To ensure proper functioning, all volunteers are expected to assist in protecting the children and making the missions as successful as possible by abiding to these rules at all time. Global Roots provides an excellent insurance package to ensure you are well covered during your missions.
In return for your commitment, energy, passion, and skills, Global Roots will provide a safe environment where you can make a sustainable difference for a good cause while working with people from various backgrounds. During your missions, you will have time set aside for exploring the area, learning about the culture (by yourself or with the group), resting, and making new friends.

Are you a group leader?

If you are a high school teacher or college professor, or if you are associated in any way to a philanthropic organization and would like to create a service mission with us, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If you create your own group, your travel costs can be worked into the overall fee.

Skills We Are Looking For
  • Agriculture, Farming
  • Architecture, Construction
  • Arts (dancing, painting, sculpturing, singing)
  • Green Energies (biochar, sun, water, wind)
  • Languages (English, Chinese)
  • Medicine (dentistry, general, pediatric)
  • Psychology
  • Recycling
  • Teaching (arts, geography, history, languages, math)
  • Water Purificatio
Do you have a suggestion on how to apply your skills? Let us know!


Our Supply Missions
Please contact us to learn more about how you can participate in these exciting missions.
Meet our Volunteers
  • Ben: Western China, Tibet, and Cambodia Projects Gap Year Volunteer
  • Daisy: Western China and Tibet Logistics Volunteer
  • Erin: Western China and Tibet Volunteer
  • Hong: Western China Volunteer and Computing Expert
  • Josh: Western China High School Volunteer
  • Patrick: Vice President, and Manager of International Projects
  • Pippo: Cambodia School Project Design Expert and Volunteer
  • Travis: Service Volunteer Supervisor

Ben Broadbent – Concord, NH


Daisy Guo – Beijing, China




Ben, a GAP year volunteer, spent three months in Shangri-la, Sichuan (China) tutoring and mentoring Tendol Gyalzur’s orphans. He then joined up with our 2009 mission in Cambodia. Ben raised the money he needed to travel by starting a letter writing campaign in his local area. His family and friends made charitable tax-exempt donations to Global Roots (a 501c3 non profit entity) while others supported him directly. Ben has future plans to study biology and pursue a career in medicine.



Daisy joined Global Roots for an important supply mission in Shangri-la. She took 25 boys and 25 girls shopping for warm clothing, in preparation for the cold winters of the southern Tibetan plateau. She is currently a professional tour guide in one of the top Chinese travel companies in Beijing. Daisy shines with her organizational skills, perfect English and Chinese, and most importantly, passion for helping and getting things done.



Erin Moran, 20 years old, from the University of Wisconsin


Hong T. Lam, Campbell, California




Erin first contacted Global Roots as she traveled to Nepal, offering her help and support with Tendol Gyalzur’s orphans.  After sending Erin to Shangri-la to help the children, Global Roots then assigned her an important task of conducting a personality profile on one of the project managers in the Northern Grasslands. These missions turned out to be very rewarding experiences for Erin. She continued to volunteer with Global Roots by traveling up and down the West Coast, sharing her experiences at selected high schools. You can view her introduction here:


Hong was part of a significant mission in Shangri-la in 2009. She ran the Shanghai Marathon to raise money for her trip and winter clothing for 51 children. In addition, she engaged the children in a very creative, artistic project that provided a medium for them to express their identity. Each child did a cut out of their hand, glued it on colored paper, and decorated around it. Banners of the decorated art are displayed at the entrance of the orphanage. You can view her introduction here:


Josh Kunstler, 17 years old, Larkspur, CA



Patrick Firouzian, Shanghai, China





Josh wrote a compelling letter to Global Roots’ director Rick Montgomery when he was a junior in high school. Josh explained that he wanted a real volunteer experience and that Global Roots was the only organization he had found with a mission that he could truly believe in. With Josh’s and his parents’ help, we devised our first ever volunteer experience for someone under 18. Josh spent a summer tutoring and mentoring orphans in western China with Global Roots. The mission was a resounding success. The orphans hope to  see Josh again when he graduates from college and “is a successful basketball star”. You can view his introduction here:


Patrick happens to be French, having lived in US many years, and now is leading eBay’s software development team in China. Patrick trail-blazed many of Global Roots’ projects, ranging from Kenya to  Cambodia, Afghanistan to Nepal. During his missions, he connected with the communities, listened and understood their needs, and then worked with Global Roots and selected partners on a solution. Patrick has a passion for adventure and brings experience gained during his crossing of the African desert, motorcycle raids, safaris, and many solo expeditions in remote parts of China.Patrick enjoys photography and videography. The pictures and videos on this site provide a window through which the world can see the significant impact of our volunteerism and our donors’ generosity. Most importantly, it shows how children around the world continue to need our help and support.




Franchesco (Pippo) Franchin, Genova, Italia


Travis Gearhart, Boulder, Colorado




Pippo is an Italian-born aerospace engineer and one of Global Roots’ first professional volunteers. Pippo ventured to Cambodia with our 2009 mission and was an important contributor in the design and construction of the nursery and school. Pippo brings many skills to the job and is able to get things done with very little resources such as leveling the floors with a tube and water, or building foundation with river rocks.


Travis was one of Global Roots’ first volunteers and continues to serve with us, now as the International Volunteer Supervisor. Born and raised in rural Oregon, Travis first served with Global Roots on the Litang mission in Sichuan, China during the summer of his junior year at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He later returned to Litang before overseeing the final stages of our first successful school construction project in Tamoung Pha-em, Cambodia. He can be contacted here with any questions or comments regarding our missions.


Several of our 2010 Kenya Service Volunteers

Emily Axelrod, 16 years old, Oregon


Lizzie Kronbergs, Boston University



Tell us a bit about yourself. Who is Emily?

My name is Emily Axelrod. I’m 16 years old and a sophomore at West Linn High School in Oregon. My main hobbies include acting, singing, and running.

Why Africa?

I have always been drawn to Africa for many reasons. First, it is such an interesting country and I have always wondered about life in a culture completely different than the one I have grown up in. For the past few years, I have become more and more aware of the problems we are facing in this world today, as well as many of the struggles and difficult times other cultures are facing. I want to be part of the solution to these problems…I want to bring the love and support I have grown up with to these children, and let them know that they are loved. I am ready to step outside of my comfort zone and give to those who need it most.

What drew you to Global Roots and its Service Corps?

I am extremely interested by the full-scale help Global Roots brings to their projects (including the project ongoing in Kenya). Global Roots isn’t just a group that sends money to those in need. They actually go to the people in need, and help them hands on…Global Roots pours their heart into helping those in need.

What are you most excited about with the program?

I am most excited about making a difference for these children in Kenya. I love kids, and I hate to see them suffer. I am so excited to step outside of the life I am used to, and give my full devotion and love to the children.


Tell us a bit about yourself. Who is Lizzie?

I’m an undergrad at Boston University majoring in special education. I’m taking a semester off to volunteer with Global Roots and couldn’t be more excited! I love kids, foreign cultures, teaching, and volunteering. I am an extremely passionate person, almost to a fault sometimes, but it serves me well in experiences such as this.

Why Africa?

I became interested in Africa when I met a good friend of mine from BU who spent a year in Ghana when she was in high school. She simply fell in love with Africa and was always talking about when and how she could go back. I had been looking into taking some time off to volunteer abroad and decided that Africa was where I wanted to go, so I started looking into organizations that had programs there.

What drew you to Global Roots and its Service Corps?

What drew me most to Global Roots was the fact that instead of deciding what was best for a community, they find local philanthropists that are already doing good work and support them. I really like that Global Roots realizes that the people who know best how to support the community are those who are living there and helping already.

What are you most excited about with the program?

I’m most excited about being able to use my love of children and my talents in teaching to try to effect positive change in the world. I’m also really excited to experience and learn from a culture I have no prior experience with.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I would just like to add how thankful I am that Global Roots has made this all possible and I cannot wait to serve and volunteer.


Fundraising ideas

There are 1001 ways to raise money, here are some ideas, you may combine these or come up with yours!

Key points:

  1. Remember to clearly advertise your fundraising and link to the cause and projects you are getting ready for. “I am raising $500 for helping orphan children in Baraka’s orphanage to have access to a library with educational books.”
  2. Make your goals SMART : Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Tangible.
    • This is not a smart goal: “I will solve the HIV/AIDS problem in Mtito-Andei”
    • This is better: “With the $1,000 I will raise and within 2011, I will develop a program to raise awareness of women in the Mtito-Andei communities so they can reduce exposure to HIV/AIDS for themselves and their children. I plan to educate 50 woman, 50 children, and leave behind enough training materials to have the most able leaders continue after my departure.”
  3. Take your time, be patient, don’t give up. Fundraising can be frustrating, not everyone feels like giving, especially when the cause you support is far from home.  Use the time to clarify your cause, build trust, and elaborate your pcampaign and roject.
  4. Partner with someone: the power of networking and word of mouth is exponential to the people engaged in the cause. Reach to your friends to partner up, or make new friends through defending a noble cause.
  5. Use multiple ways: don’t limit yourself to selling books or raffle tickets. Plan your fundraising campaign by starting with one idea, then continue with another, and so on, until you reach and exceed your goal.
  6. Remind donors that donations are tax-deductible!

Some ideas, in no particular order.

Note: there is nothing new here and we just adapted or borrowed some ideas from existing fundraising sites. We are organizing a few here to trigger your creativity!

  • Book Sales: Gather your books, your friend books,  make a list, send to your network or lay the books outside your house or school, and sell!
  • Garage sales or eBay: Be Zen: find all that is not of essential use and sell, on line or on outside your garage. Make sure you advertise that the proceeds will go to your cause.
  • Raffles: Not a complex method but requires some organization, and investment is minimal: a roll of tickets. You can also get prizes from local shops, like coupons or free diners, which in turn advertises the local shop in your group.
  • Food parties:You and friends cook or buy food, you invite friends and family, and make a profit on your purchases and labor.
  • Breakfasts: every Friday, get breakfast ordered and available in your lobby for sale, at 2 or 3 times cost. Every colleague will love to get some!
  • Run a marathon, climb a mountain, cross a desert (if you are fit or able to do that safely of course). Key to this is to campaign your effort to your network so they support you throughout the process. Double benefit: get fit, raise funds.
  • Movie night: get all your friends to pitch in to watch a movie together. You can work with your local movie theater for hosting this event.
  • Photo contest: every entrant would pay a fee, the top winners get a prize and the rest goes to your cause. You can also sell the photos to the audience.
  • Beauty contest or fashion show. This will attract the fashion crowd and the beautiful people and rally them to a good cause… and pitch in their donations.
  • Cake Sales: Make cakes, slice and sell each slice at school or in the office. The success depends directly on the taste!
  • Blind auctions: a fun-filled event. Get all the stuff you can put your hands on, good or crap. Gather your friends and colleagues. You can either wrap the items and number them, or leave the items visible with their number hidden… so no-one knows what they are bidding for!
  • Cleanup a place: is your local part littered with junk? Get everyone to come over a weekend afternoon, get an entrance fee but provide drinks and cookies.
  • Corporate fundraising: Corporations have lots of cash and have a social responsibility. They will love to hear your initiative and help you. Make sure you build a decent case (we can help) and reach your “give team”.
  • Matched giving: Ask your company to match whatever your work colleagues’ raise, and tell people this when asking for sponsorship.
  • Recycle gifts: After Christmas we sometimes end up with those long underwear or perfume we don’t fancy… sell these to recycle unwanted gifts into much needed books and blankets.
  • Think think think, search search search!!!