International impact: Queen’s Global Village

Queen’s Global Village is an excellent example of an organization run by dedicated students looking to extend their impact from a local to global scale.

This year’s Queen’s Global Village team is composed of two co-presidents, a fundraising executive, a sponsorship executive and 12 volunteers. The team will be travelling to Guatemala this February during reading week to build a home for a family in need.

I sat down with co-president, Shannon Ryan, to discuss Queen’s Global Village and this year’s upcoming trip:

What is the main goal of Queen’s Global Village?

Ryan: Our main goal is to provide housing for families in Central America that are in need. Branching off of that, we also aim to give Queen’s students the opportunity to travel abroad and have an impact on the global community.

How can students get involved with Queen’s Global Village?

Ryan: Every year in September, applications are available for students to apply to become a part of that year’s team. Interviews are then conducted and typically 13 students are chosen. This year, we had the opportunity to expand and hired 16 members. Everyone that is hired participates throughout the year with fundraising events and planning, and comes on the trip during reading week.

How does Queen’s Global Village gain support or funding?

Ryan: Queen’s Global Village hosts a variety of fundraising events, such as bake sales, bottle drives and club nights. We also apply for grants and this year we have reached out to the Kingston community in hopes of gaining corporate sponsorship. All costs that aren’t raised through fundraising are paid by club members, although our ultimate goal would be to fully fund the trip through fundraising.

Are there any upcoming events that students can attend to provide support for Queen’s Global Village?

Ryan: We actually have two big events coming up. The first is a masquerade night at Ale House on Nov. 22. We are selling tickets and masks for this event. We are also hosting an auction/raffle night that will be held at CoGro during the first week of December. All proceeds from these events will be used towards the funding of the trip.

How is Queen’s Global Village affiliated with Habitat for Humanity?

Ryan: Habitat for Humanity plans the trip that we go on. They choose the family that the house is built for, provide the materials we use to build and essentially coordinate everything regarding the country that we travel to.

What was the past year’s trip to Nicaragua like? Will any changes be made for the upcoming trip this reading week?

Ryan: Last year’s trip to Nicaragua had 11 members and we built a home completely from the ground up alongside the family. This year we will be travelling to Guatemala, which is a completely new destination for the club. The only difference between the trip last year and the upcoming trip this February is the new destination and that there are now 16 members in the team rather than 11.

What is one of your most memorable moments from volunteering in Nicaragua last year?

Ryan: For me, one of my most memorable moments was the last day on the building site. We had a party for the family and blessed the new home we had built together. One of the biggest challenges on the trip was the language barrier, so my most memorable moment would have to be the last day when I was able to sit down with the grandmother of the family and speak to her through a translator. We both expressed how thankful we were for each other, and you realize at moments like this the change you’ve been able to make in someone’s life.

For more information on Queen’s Global Village, visit their Facebook page.

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