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:

WATCH HERE: Volunteers describe their own experiences supporting community development in these short video clips including:

  • Distributing nutritious meals to mothers and children in Tanzania.
  • Classroom teaching in the rural schools of Siedlce, Poland.
  • Teaching conversational English to blind Vietnamese students training for a career.
  • Supporting women’s co-ops helps stabilize families in Tanzanian villages.
  • Mentoring the children of Sagrada Familia in Peru through community projects.

WHERE CAN I SUPPORT COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT?

Cook Islands

Help schools and non-profits improve facilities and share your skills in grant writing, accounting or bookkeeping.

Cuba

Contribute your skills to women’s co-ops, community farms, elder care facilities and churches.

Ecuador

Help improve and expand safe learning spaces for children from economically impoverished families.

Greece

Contribute your skills to programs serving refugees, abandoned and orphaned children and abused women.

Nepal

Help maintain and beautify living and learning spaces for displaced children and counsel women returning to work.

Peru

Help build classrooms, repair windows, doors and furniture, paint dormitories, and prepare and serve meals.

St. Lucia

Help students improve their English in classrooms with elementary and middle school students during the school year or English language “camps” in summer.

Tanzania

Work one-on-one with students from kindergarten through high school on English language skills, primarily through reading, writing and recitation.

Blackfeet Reservation – Montana

Help renovate a classroom or repair a fence, plant a community garden, paint an elder’s home, or help erect a Sun Dance lodge.

Rosebud Reservation – South Dakota

Home repair and painting is a constant need. Splitting and delivering firewood is an important project – and one that nearly all ages can work on.

Rio Grande Valley – Texas

Volunteer assignments depend on skill level, and include interior painting, house siding, tile work, site preparation, landscaping, building handicapped ramps, and upgrading bathrooms to be handicapped accessible.

HOW DO MY SKILLS HELP?

You work at the community level, where vegetables are planted, children are taught, and health care is delivered. Assignments are structured to engage you at a place and pace appropriate to your personal experience and energy. Together with your teammates, you build on the efforts of previous volunteers, enhancing the community’s capacity and long-term knowledge base. This is how you maximize your impact. You dedicate your professional expertise, life experience, and long-held interests to an individual assignment that ripples through the entire community.

Volunteers become catalysts – motivating local communities to collaborate to take advantage of the resources offered. Because Global Volunteers’ development philosophy requires community partners to provide local participants in a number equal to or greater than the number of volunteers invited, the resulting human resources available to help meet the needs of children are magnified. Ultimately, the positive, constructive results of this interchange, when sustained through volunteer teams serving several times a year, for many years, in hundreds of partner communities worldwide are exponential.

As a catalyst for lasting change, you have the opportunity to contribute to your greatest potential, because our resourceful community partners have the vision and local support to direct you and each other individual’s work assignments. Together, short-term volunteers provide “helping hands” to on-going, long-term development projects that sustain the community’s autonomy and self-sufficiency.

María de Lourdes Erazo, Community Partner, Quito, Ecuador

Foundation of Ladies of Calderón President

Maria expressed her appreciation for the renovation project that involved tiling walls, sanding and repainting window grates, repairing fencing and main entrance, and drawing murals.

“We are so grateful to Global Volunteers and this hardworking, dedicated, energized team of volunteers who came to help us complete this project that we could have never completed on our own. Renovating the entrance of our early childhood development center was a top priority for our organization in order to be able to continue providing services to the most needy of children in our community. We couldn’t have done it without Global Volunteers, and we are so thankful for all your hard work over these two weeks. Thank you, friends. Thank you, Global Volunteers. We will carry you in our hearts.”

“We couldn’t have done it without Global Volunteers. We will carry you in our hearts.”

VOLUNTEER STORIES: SUPPORTING COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

The Impact of swimming lessons in St.Lucia

With Global Volunteers, I’ve gotten to meet the women of Nepal, and gotten to know them, to help them, have fun and laugh – a lot. I didn’t watch the world go by from the window of a bus.”

“I’ll always remember putting the kids down for a nap. They’re so precious, and they just look at me with their big, beautiful eyes before slowly closing them. These little moments remind me of the difference we’re making. Something so little can mean so much.”

“The volunteers’ two key values are: One, the fact that they are willing to come here to serve the people. That is a statement of the value of the people here; someone else is saying. ‘Our children matter.’ And two, the work they do as volunteers saves people immensely on the costs.”

Get Started: Call 651-407-6100 | request info. | register