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IVPA-International Volunteers Program Association

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IVPA-International Volunteers Program Association Empty IVPA-International Volunteers Program Association

Post by Admin on Fri 27 Feb 2009, 09:21

The International Volunteer Programs Association (IVPA) is an association of non-governmental organizations involved in international volunteer work and internship exchanges.

Membership with IVPA is a distinguished mark of excellence. We stand for responsibility in the field of international volunteer abroad programs. Our members are expected to uphold the IVPA's Principles and Practices as guidelines for good programming as well as meet stringent membership criteria.

IVPA promotes awareness and access to valuable volunteer programs abroad. IVPA can serve as a guide to anyone considering volunteering abroad or developing international service opportunities. This includes but is not limited to prospective volunteers, newly created volunteer sending organizations, corporations, and colleges and universities.

IVPA is a forum for international volunteer program representatives (staff, board members, etc.) to share information and resources, develop new skills, and collaborate on cost-saving initiatives.

Any program that regularly sends groups or individuals to work abroad as volunteers or interns, for any length of time, falls under the broad category of "International Volunteer Programs." International volunteer programs offer unique hands-on learning experiences which promote cross-cultural understanding, cooperation, and solidarity among individuals and communities around the world. They encourage participating volunteers to examine how their work and daily choices back home can have an impact on economic and social conditions in other parts of the world.

Why should you consider volunteering abroad?
There are countless reasons why thousands of people volunteer abroad each year. You may start with a desire to travel, learn a new language, or meet new people. By volunteering, you’ll also have the opportunity to lend a hand to those who are working to improve life in their communities. Through your daily work and interactions with members of a local community, you’ll gain a better understanding of the culture, as well as the issues that affect that part of the world. You’ll also learn a lot about yourself, as you take on the challenge of living and working in a completely new environment.

Can you really make a difference? According to the authors of “Alternatives to the Peace Corps” (Food First Books), “While a volunteer may wish to feed the hungry, heal the sick, or house the homeless, these social and political problems are often more complex than they may seem. Thus, the volunteer’s most appropriate role is that of a student. Working abroad can better your understanding of the world and forces that keep people impoverished, and enhance your appreciation fo the richness of other cultures. For many, volunteer experiences mark the beginning of a lifelong commitment to ending poverty and hunger.”

More information and programs worldwide, at the website here.

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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain
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