About South Dakota

Global Volunteer Network currently has opportunities to volunteer at a youth centre located on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. The non-profit youth centre serves children and families living on the reservation and is a grass-roots organisation run by members of the Lakota tribe and the surrounding communities. The Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation is home to around 15,000 residents and lies within two of the poorest counties in the United States. The unemployment rate is high, occasionally reaching over 75% in some areas, and the majority of families live at or below the poverty level (according to USA standards). As much as 50% of the population of the reservation is under the age of 18 years old, which means that youth and outreach programs have become vitally important to securing a viable future for the Lakota people.

For more information about the program please visit the South Dakota program page on the Global Volunteer Network website.

Recent South Dakota Journals:


 Posted by Emily Rishel at 9:50 am  South Dakota  Comments Off on 5/14/11
May 142011

My name is Emily Rishel. I am a junior at the Pennsylvania State University majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. I am traveling to South Dakota to work on the Cheyenne River Youth Project to gain experience with young children in different circumstances than I’m used to. I look forward to my experiences over the next 7 weeks.


 Posted by Andrew Horwood at 11:26 am  South Dakota  Comments Off on USAOK
Jul 022008

Howdy, This is not a journal entry, so much as it is a one-off description of what I do in Eagle Butte. I recommend the GVN partner organisation in South Dakota without hesitation. The kids are neat. They are vibrant and fun. The staff are helpful and committed. The community is appreciative and supportive. The primary task here is working with the kids. We have two centres for this, the Youth Centre (YC) and the Teen Centre (TC). The YC takes kids aged 4-12. We give them a safe place to play for 6 hours a day. Entertaining the kids can involce a lot of things. I spend a lot of time pushing kids on the swings and chasing them in games of ‘monster’. I write and learn songs on guitar to play for them. We organise movies and Nintendo gaming on the TV and arts and crafts activities. We also provide them with dinner and supervise them for garden work. Over summer we are running our literacy program, to encourage reading. Other special programs are being planned as well. A sleepover will be held here in a week and we are hosting a jungle themed dance in a few days. We had a birthday party for the kids a couple of weeks ago. The activities here are many and varied but ultimately all made enjoyable by the energy and appreciation the children show. The TC is a magnificent facility. It has an internet cafe and a basketball court. The teens love these facilities, as well as the foosball and ping pong tables. I enjoy talking to the teens over a game of monopoly, or playing them in basketball. The value of this facility to the community cannot be underestimated. When we let the teens hang out here on a [click here to read more]

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