I'm not so sure if this is the right place to inquire about something like this, but here goes. So I'm 16 years old, currently a junior at High School, and I've been thinking of things I could do for my last summer of my pre-college life. Specifically social work, but not the kind people fly over to New Orleans to do, I want to go to Africa-where it's really needed the most. That's where I need help. I really want to do social work in Africa; I've been doing menial work at my dads hospital (he's a doctor) for the past two years, just filing papers that don't mean anything. But I have a chance to really do something now, since my cousin's worked with various NGO's (even the UN at one point) in Africa, she's letting me either stay with her in a safe country, or she said she would find me an NGO or a program in a safe area of Africa, obviously in a safer country. It's something I really want to do, and it's not a desire that resembles going to a concert or seeing hannah montana, its the real deal. My parents said no, at first. They think my cousin's crazy, for various reasons (she's a doctor and works for less than 50k in undeveloped African countries at 34), and they feel that they know a hell of a lot more than I do. They're right, but so wrong as well. They argue that its unsafe politically, something that wouldn't be applicable in a safer region (though no place is completely safe) and their central argument lies in the diseases. They're doctors, and they know diseases, but don't you think that with proper vaccinations and practical measures in a safer area of Africa (no fornicating or hanging out with monkeys, not that I would do those let alone in Africa)? If I find a safe NGO in a safe country, then why can't I go right? I know the risks, I know its dangerous from the moment I step onto the plan to the moment I get home or even after. I know that there are many medical mysteries and non-treatable aliments that sprang out of Africa. I'm sixteen, by the summer nearly seventeen, so I'm not exactly what you would call a naive, imprudent, child. I'm a cautious person, and I know the risks. So, I really want to do this but I need help convincing my parents, and/or finding a safe place in Africa (do you know of any?). Any/all help would be appreciated, and sorry for making this thread/post verbose and almost excessive with information.