By: Maddie Craig
During my last day in the office I am reflecting on my time at Volunteers For Peace (VFP) and how much I have grown since I started. I first heard about VFP when I was a Junior in college and there was a posting in our career development office for an internship position at VFP. I checked out the website and thought, this is too good to be true: they send families and couples? The registration fee is only $500? I can choose how long I travel for and where I can go? I had never heard of a volunteer organization like this before that offered so many diverse projects. I was determined to be a part of it.
I became an intern at VFP in the spring of 2013 and I led my first workcamp that summer. My first real introduction to a workcamp was with the Willowell Foundation in Monkton, Vermont. I was immediately hooked and inspired by the friendships I had made, the work that we did, and the community members that we met. After that, I started to plan my first VFP project abroad. As I was planning my 3 month post-graduation trip to Nepal I landed a job as the US Program Coordinator at VFP!
I started working part-time during my spring semester of my senior year at Saint Michael’s College. I studied Cultural Anthropology and Spanish so work and study meshed really well. My first summer as US Program Coordinator was slightly overwhelming as I was suddenly in charge of many different international groups and communicating with about 10 different hosting organizations. But it was so much fun. After traveling to Nepal in the Fall of this year I was ready to start my second season at VFP.
From emailing with partners across the globe to going on local project visits in Vermont, VFP has given me a wide range of skill sets that I will take with me wherever I go. My journey at VFP has not ended yet and being part of the VFP family has motivated me to continue to do this type of work and to continue to travel. My world vision, experience with other cultures, knowledge of travel, and future goals have evolved because of my experiences at VFP.