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Can you really make a difference?

Participants often ask us, "Can I really make a difference in such a short period of time." It's a good question, and one we've thought a lot about, too. 

The answer is Yes, and No. 

No, we're not going to solve all the problems of our host country in such a short visit.

Most of the issues we address are complicated and challenging. But that's not an excuse to ignore them. As we discuss on our programs, for many people "I don't know" is a convenient stopping point to give up and move on to something easier or more convenient. For true leaders, our sages teach us, "I don't know" is a jumping off point towards action and finding relevant solutions. When we first started, we didn't know how we could get started addressing some of the world's biggest issues, but we knew there were passionate masses of Jewish students and young professionals who were ambitious enough to take them on. So, we've sought to figure it out. Here's what we discovered:

Yes, you can change the world through short service trips. Here's how:

 

Step 1: Assemble a bright and talented team. 

Step 2: Partner with local organizations on the ground and support the work they know needs doing.

Step 3: Ensure that your work has vision and direction, with projects building off of previous successes and learning from previous failures.

Step 4: Connect the pieces, and do the work. 

Through sustained partnerships with local organizations that are doing the work on the ground day-in and day-out, Justifi ensures the sustainability of its work and ensures that your time is well spent and well directed. So, yes, if you come on a trip, you will be making a difference to the people you meet, to yourself, and if you chose to, your community at home afterwards.  Follow up education and letting people know about what you have seen and experienced will open other people's eyes to these issues and may inspire them to act as well.