Our Team

Guatemala Volunteer Airport PickupScott Burke — Founder & Director

In 2000 at age 31, Scott Burke quit his corporate job in Philadelphia to serve as a volunteer English teacher in Nepal. Returning to Philadelphia, he founded Cosmic Volunteers to help others have their own special experiences volunteering abroad. Scott has made over 40 trips abroad — to establish partnerships, learn local cultures and lead volunteers. Scott is a Philadelphia native and alumnus of the William Penn Charter School and Franklin & Marshall College. He is writing a memoir titled “They’ll Steal Your Eyeballs Out” about his experiences in international volunteering. Read his Welcome Message and see his albums on Facebook.


Nepal Volunteer Niraj DhakalNiraj Dhakal — Senior Program Director

A native of Nepal, Niraj founded the non-profit Helping Hands Club Nepal in 1999. Niraj and his family served as host family for Scott Burke during his trip to Nepal in 2000. Since then Niraj has worked as Scott’s Nepal Volunteer Coordinator and now also serves as a Senior Program Coordinator. Niraj lives in the Chitwan District of Nepal, about a five-hour bus ride from the capitol city Kathmandu.


Ghana Volunteer Mary AfariMary Afari — Senior Program Director

Mary and her family have worked with Scott Burke since 2006 to run volunteer programs throughout Ghana. A native of Ghana, Mary is the founder and director of both the Shalom Women Development Network and the Gold Maeir Academy in the Volta Region of Ghana. Mary has run workshops for over two decades for women in Ghana on topics including business management, sustainable agriculture, HIV/AIDS, and reproductive health.