Category Archives: Volunteer opportunities

Global Service Corps Launches New Food Security Program in Cambodia

By | IVPA Members, Volunteer opportunities | No Comments


Next month, IVPA member Global Service Corps (GSC) will be launching their new New Cambodian Food Security Program. This program will use the successes and lessons of GSC’s 16 years in East Africa in community development, sustainable agriculture and management and will partner with the Cambodian government.

GSC says “The goal of the project is to stabilize food supply in rural Cambodia through community development, education, and training by establishing an educational and training center where community leaders, schools, local teachers, educators, families, and children can gather to learn about subsistence farming, crop diversification, feasible post-harvest methods, and sustainable agriculture techniques.”

For more information on GSC’s new programs please click here or check out GSC’s Newsletter.

Also, if you are in the San Francisco area please look into the amazing fundraising dinner GSC has organized.


“Change the Course Fundraising Dinner,”

Saturday, June 25, 2011 from 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM (PT)

San Francisco, CA

What’s it Really Like to Volunteer Abroad?

By | Tips for Volunteering Abroad, Volunteer opportunities, Volunteer Stories | No Comments

If you’ve never been abroad to volunteer, you may be wondering what it is like and the truth is no one volunteer experience is the same. But reading through volunteer stories, first hand descriptions of volunteers’ own experiences can be enlightening.

I’ve compiled a list of out IVPA members’ blogs where they feature volunteer accounts or other news about their programs.

Global Service Corps I love the photography of GSC’s blog!

Amigos de las Americas This is a recent update from an Amigos Project Director in Nicaragua

Child Family Health International News and information about Global Immersion Programs

Cross-Cultural Solutions A whole list of individual CCS volunteer blogs!

Global Citizens Network Some great information on GCN programs

Habitat For Humanity This links to some of Habitat’s Global Village volunteer stories

Projects Abroad A blog that posts on a variety of experiences of Projects Abroad staff and volunteers

I love Theresa Ball’s description as a novice traveler about her experience in Romania taken from Projects Abroad’s post

“I have been trying for almost a year now to describe to others what my time in Romania was like. I’m sure there are many flowery adjectives and humorous anecdotes that I could used to describe my experiences there. Yes, it was beautiful. Yes, the experience changed my life. Yes, I recommend that you all go there. Mostly though, it was the right place for me at the right time. I came back a different person, ready to take on anything and knowing that if I really wanted something, I could achieve it. I found a part of myself that I didn’t know existed.”

I think everyone can have a life changing experience but, like Theresa, volunteers need to find the right fit and follow what “calls” to them.

Voluntourism and “Do-Good Vacations”

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IVPA Members Cross-Cultural Solutions and Globe Aware were recently spotlighted in a Huffington Post article titled “Making A Difference: The World  of Giving — Voluntour and Do-Good Vacations”

Cross-Cultural Solutions and Globe Aware were highlighted as quality organizations with great reputations, and flexible options for a volunteer vacation.

The article also focused on “Do-Good Vacations” and states:

“Do-Good Vacations are money raising adventures combined with European vacations to Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Scotland and Spain and include nights in historic castles and visits to lesser-known areas. Do-Good Vacations are about traveling to a distant land, working with a nonprofit outfitter to raise money for a cause — unlike voluntouring you will not be working with the local community and its residents.”

To be honest I haven’t heard much about these type of fundraising vacations. One of the examples the article gives is For A Cause which combines the fundraising concept of participating in  races, like “Race for the Cure” with traveling.

I agree that this sort of fundraising vacation wouldn’t fit into the concept of volunteering abroad or voluntourism but it is interesting how the traditional lines of vacation, volunteering, sustainable travel etc are being blended.

IVPA Global Volunteering Fairs

By | Global Volunteering Fairs, Tips for Volunteering Abroad, Volunteer opportunities | No Comments

IVPA is excited to announce that we will be holding two Global Volunteering Fairs this Fall!

In 2008, 2009, and 2010, hosted several highly successful Global Volunteering Fairs in cities from New York to Los Angeles.  Building on the success of these events, and with gratitude to, we are excited to announce that these fairs – no hosted by IVPA – will be held in New York City and Washington DC this Fall.

The format for these events will be the same as previous fairs: Each fair will be a three-hour evening event where prospective volunteers can chat with representatives of international volunteerism organizations as well as attend free workshops. Registration rates will also be similar to past fairs.

For more information or to reserve your spot please contact Erin Barnhart erin(at)

Cross-Cultural Solutions AUA Initiative: Building Peace Between America and the Muslim World

By | IVPA Members, Volunteer opportunities | No Comments

IVPA Member, Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) has recently announced that they have been chosen as one of 36 recommended organizations as part of Creative Learning’s Americas Unofficial Ambassadors (AUA) program.

The goal of this initiative is to build “peace through service in the Muslim world”. CCS was chosen specifically for their Morocco program and because they offer safe and meaningful service opportunities.

International Women’s Day – Women Hold Up Half the Sky

By | Book Review, Genevieve Brown, IVPA Executive Director, Uncategorized, Volunteer opportunities, Volunteer Stories | No Comments

A few years ago Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn published a book titled Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.

Half the Sky is a stunning book with gripping stories of women around the world and their plight for freedom. Issues summarized in the book include maternal mortality, sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, education and workforce participation.

The book also highlights grassroots action and the impact that individuals can have. There is the story of Harper McConnell a young university graduate who volunteers in the Congo and ends up staying and running a school. The authors also encourages volunteering often throughout the book.

Some of the alarming facts stated in the book include:

“It appears that more girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because they were girls, than men were killed in all the battles of the twentieth century.”

“The World Health Organization estimates that 536,000 women perished in pregnancy or childbirth in 2005, a toll that has barely budged in thirty years. Child mortality has plunged, longevity has increased but childbirth remains almost as deadly as ever, with one maternal death every minute.”

“One of the most cost-effective ways to increase school attendance is to deworm students… “The average American spends fifty dollars a year to deworm a dog; in Africa, you can deworm a child for fifty cents.””


Interested in volunteering to help the plight of women around the world? Below is just a sampling of some of IVPA’s member programs.

Education: Spend a year teaching with WorldTeach or if you only have a week to volunteer, look at Globe Aware‘s programs

Health: Volunteer to help improve women’s reproductive health with  Child Family Health International or work on one of Global Service Corps global health programs.

Women’s Empowerment: ProWorld and Projects Abroad has a number of opportunities in human rights and women’s empowerment.

Microcredit: Assist micro-credit organizations with Cross-Cultural Solutions

Community Development: work with indigenous communities with Global Citizens Network or work to promote education and community based solutions with Amigos de las Americas.