Community development is the work of building, connecting and sustaining a shared vision for collective action on issues important to an organized group of people. A foundational principle of Global Volunteers is to support local people’s self-determination, capacity building and vision for the future. Every partner community invites us to work hand-in-hand with local people on improvements they’ve identified are important to their long-term development. In many communities, volunteers are engaged in a variety of work projects that address a wide range of issues. In other communities, we’re asked to assist with projects in a single, major area, such as teaching conversational English.
Every work project is part of a comprehensive, sustained and dynamic strategy, led by local leaders, to ensure children’s and families’ health, nutrition and security; elevate educational, social and cultural pursuits, and and enhance their overall standard of living. Volunteers assist in many ways, depending upon current needs in the partner community:
- Serving meals, packing donations, distributing supplies to targeted populations
- Teaching conversational English, tutoring children with special needs and assisting teachers
- Building and repairing classrooms, playgrounds, libraries and other community buildings
- Presenting workshops, demonstrating skills, promoting health and nutrition
- Supporting entrepreneurship, collectives and community enterprise
- Guiding and nurturing the community’s most vulnerable – such as children and elders