What does it mean to be a CPO?
CPO stands for "Community Project Organization" and provides the framework of the Community Service Program (CSP) offered by AFS Kenya, receiving participants from many European partners. The CSP program has two main functions; being an intercultural learning experience and helping the community through volunteer work. The participant on CSP is placed in a host family and will work in a community project, giving them a hands-on working experience and a way to get in touch with the local community.
The CPO is the host for the participants day-to-day life and is supposed to provide learning opportunities through the volunteer work; it can either be by working side by side with the other employees or giving them an independent project, where they can be creative and use their skills the best possible way. The only requirements are that the CPO provides support for the participant and a healthy working environment, where the needs of the participant are taken into account.
Projects can be anything from schools and hospitals to environmental NGOs and conservation. Any organization that exists to help its community is eligible for hosting a CSP participant.
Support from AFS
In AFS you are part of a support system that will help in case of problems. The participant, the Community Project Organization and the family gets a counselor, who will have contact with all three parties at least once a month to make sure the exchange is working out. In case of issues s/he acts as a mediator to help resolve the conflict.
In case the placement does not work out, AFS is responsible for finding a new project.