My Placement Agency

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Community Service Alliance (CSA) is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2004 by Elizabeth Conklin and Rigil Ballester, with the following mission: ” To channel human and financial resources brought by volunteers and students to communities and organizations in the Dominican Republic, not only helping to respond directly to local needs, but also to facilitate life changing experiences for participants.” The organization is based in the Dominican Republic, in the capital city of Santo Domingo. They focus the majority of their efforts in three categories: youth, health, and education, as both Elizabeth and Rigil had worked with the Dominican Republic’s impoverished and at-risk populations for many years, she as a public health worker, and he as an education specialist. CSA was founded on the belief in the power and influence of local grassroots organizations, while recognizing that these small groups are often overlooked by large funders and remain resource-poor. They don’t simply walk into communities and give out aid, they work with local leaders to build capacity, technical assistance, and improve education. CSA is also founded on the idea of using student volunteers from universities across the U.S. to carry out their various projects. Some of their past projects include building latrines in a batey community, building a fully-functional school for children who are left out of the public school system due to lack of official documentation, and installing water filters and building community gardens in the homes of individuals with HIV/AIDS. CSA is dedicated to facilitating the development of Dominican communities, while providing the opportunity for students to engage in a mutually beneficial experience.