U.S. Partners and Projects

We want to thank and recognize all of our local U.S. partners that work with us to host international volunteers every year!

Spontaneous Celebrations in Boston, MA  –  Green Mountain Club in Waterbury, VT
Williowell Foundation in Monkton, VT  –  Allegheney Valley Project in Allegheney, NY
Newport Revitalization Committee and Newport School District in Newport, NH
Camp Betsey Cox and Maclure Public Library in Pittsford, VT
Burlington Parks and Rec Dept. in Burlington, VT
Montpelier Parks Dept. in Montpelier, VT
Cross Vermont Trail Association in Montpelier, VT
Wells Reserve at Laudholm in Wells, ME  –  SPROUT in New York, NY
Dismas of Vermont in Burlington, Rutland & Winooski, VT
Lowernine.org in New Orleans, LA  –  Camp Thorpe in Brandon, VT

Interested in being a host site for a group of international volunteers? Contact us today!

“We all have commonalities that we share, that are brought to the forefront when interacting one-on-one in a living and working environment.  Our American students benefitted greatly from this experience, and from feedback we’ve received, our international volunteers did as well”. – Steve H. – AVP Archaeology Host

 

USA collage 1

 

International workcamps bring together volunteers from different nationalities and backgrounds, aiming at building up international understanding and encouraging peace while working for an identified need of the local community.

“This kind of community which is really historical and being a one between local people is really not common in my county…Definitely everything from here impact in all part of my life”
– Volunteer from South Korea, Wake Up the Earth, 2015

Every year Volunteers For Peace organizes workcamps and volunteer opportunities in the United States. In 2015, in collaboration with our U.S. partners, we organized 31 projects and hosted over 200 international volunteers from 50 different countries, performing over 19,000 hours of valuable volunteer work.

Since 1999, Volunteers For Peace has hosted over 4,500 international volunteers.

The types of the projects developed by Volunteers For Peace are mainly nature or environmental oriented, for example building of walking paths or hiking trails, cleaning of the coastline, reforestation and erosion control, construction or renovation of a community buildings, schools or outdoor classrooms, removing of invasive growth, etc…

There are also social, cultural, agricultural, archaeological and youth development projects among others depending on the identified need of the local community.

“Invaluable cultural wealth gained by sharing with the other volunteers and the people of the community. Not to mention the new friends around the world that I have now. All this represents a great experience in every way help my personal and professional development due to the diversity of situations experienced both interpersonal and with skills related to work done.”- Volunteer from Costa Rica, Montpelier Parks, 2015

 

USA collage 2

Volunteers For Peace is a member organization of the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS) at UNESCO and work in partnership with Service Civil International (SCI) and the Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organizations to exchange thousands of volunteers each year!

Projects are developed in collaboration with and in total compliance of CCIVS standards to meet local community needs and ensure cross-cultural engagement.

 


2016 – U.S. SHORT TERM PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS

 

VFP01-16: WAKE UP THE EARTH in BOSTON, MA | 23-APR to 15-MAY

FEST/ENVI/CULT    Open Spaces: FULL    AGE: 21+ 

SPONTANEOUS CELEBRATIONS is a festival and community arts organization in Boston, Massachusetts committed to art, activism, community, and the environment.  Spontaneous Celebrations has developed a spirited, successful, and unique approach to community building.  Visit www.spontaneouscelebrations.org for more information.

WORK: Wake Up the Earth is our biggest festival which takes place on the first Saturday of May every year.  This will be the 37th year. The festival was originally organized to celebrate the stopping of a highway being built through a section of Boston.  Since then, the festival has raised awareness about the environment, labor and political issues.  The volunteers will join the festival committee to organize, publicize and engage the community in the event. They will help prepare signs, banners, costumes, decorations, kids’ activities, etc.  Volunteers will help run workshops for children and adults to make costumes, props, and junk percussion drums in preparation for the parade and festival. Volunteers will help during the event with logistics, set-up, and general support.  After the event, the volunteers will be involved with breakdown, clean up and final analysis of the event.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Volunteers will stay together in the home of the founder of Spontaneous Celebrations. All meals are provided, sometimes by community members and restaurants.  Volunteers will also cook together.  Vegetarian options available.

LOCATION: The parade and festival take place in Jamaica Plain, a neighborhood in the city of Boston, Massachusetts.  Boston is a popular city in the northeast known for its history, universities, sports teams, and easy access to New York City.

 

VFP02-16: WILDERNESS TRAIL BUILDING IN VERMONT | 30-JUN to 12-JUL

CONS/ENVI    Open Spaces: FULL    AGE: 18+

VFP02-16B: WILDERNESS TRAIL BUILDING IN VERMONT | 14-JUL to 26-JUL

CONS/ENVI    Open Spaces: FULL    AGE: 18+

VFP02-16C: WILDERNESS TRAIL BUILDING IN VERMONT | 28-JUL to 9-AUG

CONS/ENVI    Open Spaces: FULL    AGE: 18+

VFP02-16D: WILDERNESS TRAIL BUILDING IN VERMONT | 14-AUG to 26-AUG

CONS/ENVI    Open Spaces: FULL    AGE: 18+

The GREEN MOUNTAIN CLUB (GMC) in Danby Vermont was established to build and maintain Vermont’s Long Trail, America’s first long-distance hiking trail. Join with local volunteers to build a piece of the Appalachian Trail, a wilderness footpath that runs through the mountains of the eastern U.S.  www.greenmountainclub.org

WORK: You will be doing trail work in the woods for five days at a time.  The work is physically demanding, but very fun. The crew camps out in the woods all week and on the last day of the week the crew packs out of the woods in the afternoon and returns to the base camp for the weekend.

ACCOMMODATION: You will be living in the woods for five days at a time.  There are no showers, electricity, cell phone service or running water.  Your shelter is a tent that you might have to share with another person. At the base-camp, shared rooms are provided along with a kitchen, shower, bathroom, and living room space. Food and cooking utensils are provided by GMC.

LOCATION:  Historic Long Trail/Appalachian Trail in Vermont. The Long Trail traverses the high peaks of Vermont for 270+ miles from the Massachusetts state line to the Canadian border.

 

VFP04-16: KIDS, GARDENS AND COMMUNITY | 09-JUL to 23-JUL

AGRI/CONS/ENVI    Open Spaces: FULL     AGE: 18+

The WILLOWELL FOUNDATION in Monkton, Vermont is an environmental, art, and education non-profit based on 230 acres of farmland and forest.  Willowell hosts an alternative outdoor high school program, the Walden Project, which has an outdoor classroom.  Visit www.willowell.org for more information.

WORK: Volunteers will work on the land building infrastructure for the garden and a raised platform for resident artists and as a classroom for the Walden project. This project involves daily physical labor in wooded and sunny areas. All training will be provided. Bring work boots, warm clothes, as nights can be chilly, and bathing suit for leisure activities.

ACCOMMODATIONS:  Volunteers will stay at the Monkton Friends Methodist Church and should bring sleeping bags and pillows. A bathroom will be at the church, and solar showers will be available. Cooking will take place in the church’s kitchen. Vegetarian meals available.

LOCATION:  In the foothills of the Green Mountains, Monkton is a small rural community about 40 minutes from Burlington and a short distance from mountain swimming holes, Lake Champlain, and beautiful hikes.

 

VFP05-16: ARCHAEOLOGY AND CULTURE in ALLEGANY, NEW YORK | 9-JUL to 23-JUL

CULT/AGRI    Open Spaces: FULL    AGE: 18+

ALLEGHENY VALLEY PROJECT in Allegany, New York is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing opportunities for all people regardless of age and previous abilities to participate in archaeological discovery. Visit www.alleghenyvalleyproject.com for more information.

WORK: No experience is necessary as new volunteers are teamed up with experienced volunteers for hands on learning. Volunteer opportunities range from field excavations to laboratory processing of artifacts. This is an archaeological field school where volunteers will learn site layout, excavation techniques, soil sampling, plan and profile mapping and processing artifacts (projectile points, pottery, tools etc.). The workday is from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. The work is done in a friendly and supportive environment. Please understand that this is hard physical labor and involves digging with a trowel or shovel, screening soil and carrying buckets of dirt. This year we will be investigating the Bockmier One Site, dated between 1200-1250 AD. This is an ancestral Iroquois village but also contains components from other time periods.

ACCOMMODATION: American and International volunteers will stay in apartments which are a short drive away from the dig site. Separate rooms will be available for female and male volunteers. BRING sleeping bag or your own bedding. All food and meals will be provided for volunteers. We will cook meals together or eat out at local restaurants. Vegetarian and other dietary options will be available.

LOCATION: We will work in the town of Allegany in a rural part of New York State. The area is a mixture of small towns, forests, and farms. The dig site is in a field that is currently used as an organic vegetable farm in a beautiful setting beside the Allegheny River.

 

VFP06-16: BRINGING THE WORLD TO NEWPORT, NEW HAMPSHIRE | 22 JUL to 6-AUG

EDU/CULT/KIDS   Open Spaces: FULL    AGE: 18+

The NEWPORT REVITALIZATION COMMITTEE in Newport, New Hampshire hosts this project jointly with several community non-profit organizations including the School District, Recreation Department, Richards Free Library and Library Arts Center.

WORK: Teaching and Community Interaction. Flexible volunteers are needed to work with children, youth and adults in a variety of settings: sports day camp, summer reading program, arts programs, and special educational camps.  Volunteers will experience working with several non profit organizations in the community. There will also be work sessions helping maintain the facilities for these organizations.

ACCOMMODATION:  Volunteers will stay in the local high school.  Beds and linens provided.

LOCATION: The organizers are experienced workcamp hosts in rural western New Hampshire. The town has a population 6,000.

 

VFP07-16: ESCAPE THE ORDINARY | 03-AUG to 22-AUG

AGRI/ART/KIDS   Open Spaces: FULL    AGE: 21-29 (FEMALE ONLY)

CAMP BETSEY COX in Pittsford, Vemront is a camp for young women growing up in the global world of the 21st century.  Betsey Cox was established in 1953 and focuses on providing each camper with a rich community experience living, playing and growing in the outdoors.  Our staff and campers represent many countries and they contribute multiple talents and perspectives to the group.  More information can be found at www.campbetseycox.com

WORK: Work will take place in two areas, at the Maclure Public Library in Pittsford and at the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL). The Maclure library is filled with children from Pittsford all summer.  Pittsford is a small rural community of 2,900 people.  This is a wonderful opportunity to share your culture with children who might never travel outside of our small state. Projects will include assisting with the summer reading program for children ages 5-12, the theme this summer is On Your Mark, Get Set…Read. Crafts will revolve around silly races, teen video, travel and learning new ideas.  Other tasks include creating an event or two for local teens. It would be wonderful if volunteers would bring photos, a favorite storybook, and information from their countries to share with the community.  At, RAFFL, the work would be helping at different farms harvesting different crops – during this time a big one will probably be sweet corn. More specifically, physically harvesting the crops in the field, then boxing it, weighing and labeling it, and loading it in the van.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Volunteers will live at Camp Betsey Cox in a rustic cabin with campers and other staff.  Meals will be in the camp dining hall, and volunteers are welcome to participate in all camp activities.  Volunteers should be prepared to live in a technologically limited setting.  (Campers do not use cell phones or computers, staff may use them infrequently, and not during daylight hours).

LOCATION: Camp Betsey Cox is built on a picturesque Vermont hill farm in the Killington-Pico Mountain area, ten miles north of Rutland.

 

VFP08-16: GARDENING AND PARKS | 2 JUL to 23 JUL

ENVI/CONS    Open Spaces: FULL    AGE: 16-20

BURLINGTON PARKS AND RECREATION in Burlington, Vermont has a mission to enhance quality of life of all the citizens of Burlington and for the visitors to our community by maintaining a system of parks which offers a broad spectrum of built facilities and open spaces, providing high quality, affordable recreation programs, and creating attractive greenspace. www.enjoyburlington.com

WORK: Volunteers will be working with Burlington Parks on a variety of projects to help beautify the city and make it a more enjoyable place for people to get outdoors.  Projects will include, working in the community garden program, trail maintenance, invasive species removal, maintenance projects, and special events support.

ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will stay at the Friends Meeting House in Burlington. There will be air mattresses provided, be sure to bring your sleeping bag. Meals will be prepared together. Showers are available on site.  Access to laundry facilities is not guaranteed.

LOCATION: Burlington is the largest city in Vermont with a population of ~38,000. It is located on the shores of Lake Champlain.

 

VFP09-16: BICYCLE TRAIL BUILDING in VERMONT | 8-AUG to 23-AUG

ENVI/RENO    Open Space: FULL    AGE 18+

CROSS VERMONT  TRAIL ASSOCIATION (CVTA) is a non-profit with the mission to assist municipalities, recreation groups, and landowners in the creation and management of a four-season, multi-use trail across the state of Vermont for public recreation, alternative transportation, and awareness of our natural and cultural heritage.

WORK: The work is hard, heavy physical labor – building wooden bridges, moving large stones with hand tools, and digging ditches with shovels. You will get muddy, we work in the rain! We will work full days, about 7 hours of labor. We will work a few days then take a day off for fun, and then work a few days and take another day off. Why are we working so hard? We are building a network of bicycle/pedestrian paths that will eventually go 90 miles across the entire state of Vermont. The path will connect small towns, their schools, and the wild natural areas in between with a safe, healthy alternative to driving in cars. These small towns are not wealthy, and cannot afford to build this path themselves (like larger cities can afford to.) So we are building it with volunteers. Many local people are already helping out on their weekends, and we look forward to meeting and working with you as well!

ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will camp in tents. Tents are provided. During the work week there is no electricity, no running water, no flushing toilets. We will get a chance to take showers just three times during the camp. No alcohol is allowed at the housing. 11 PM curfew. Food is provided, cooking is communal. We are happy to accommodate dietary needs or preferences, like vegetarian.

LOCATION: The work camp is located in public forest, in northeastern Vermont (east of Montpelier). We will live in a primitive tent camp in the woods. During time off we will be able to drive to nearby small towns.

 

VFP10-16: WELLS, MAINE | 24-AUG  to 15-SEPT

ENVI   Open Space: FULL    AGE: 18+

WORK: Come to the beautiful seacoast of southern Maine and the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve. Your work will include improving trails and wildlife habitat at the Reserve as well as grounds and maintenance projects on our historic buildings. This entails getting dirty and working hard.  The major project for the camp will be helping prepare for and staff a large weekend Nature Crafts Festival fund-raising event. Work involves set-up and take-down, assisting other volunteers and staff with food, parking, recycling, and many other jobs. For the two days of the festival, you will be working long days.  As a group, we will take a field trip on Wednesday, September 14th, the day before you leave.  Educational programs are available to volunteers. The Reserve has a private beach and many nature trails.  Learn more about the Wells Reserve at www.wellsreserve.org.

ACCOMMODATION: In a recently built dorm with comfortable beds, modern kitchen facilities, and common area.  Bicycles available. Vols will cook their own meals.

LOCATION: Wells is 1/2 hour south of Portland, Maine and 1/2 hour north of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The 2,250–acre research and education reserve includes beach, coastal marsh, scenic uplands, historic farm buildings, and is a sanctuary for endangered plants and wildlife.

 

VFP13-16: GREENING THE PARK | 10-JUL to 30-JUL

ENVI/CONS   Open Spaces: FULL    AGE: 18+

MONTPELIER PARKS DEPARTMENT, see summer camp page- www.montpelier-vt.org/parks/index.cfm

WORK: Volunteers be working on a variety of projects, with the two main projects being trail improvement work (shoveling, raking, wheelbarrowing…) and removing invasive plants, but the group may also help with replacing wooden bridges, building park benches and general park maintenance.  Most work will involve some level of hard physical labor. The international group will be immersed in a small town and will work with park staff and other volunteers.

ACCOMMODATION: To be announced. Accommodations will be a shared space and volunteers will cook together as a group.  Be prepared for minimal living and please bring a sleeping bag and mat. Showers available at a different location.

LOCATION: Montpelier is the capitol of Vermont with a population of 8500, making it the smallest capitol in the U.S.

 


2016 MEDIUM AND LONG TERM PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS

 

VFP-MTV01-16: COMMUNITY REENTRY and SOCIAL JUSTICE – BURLINGTON, VERMONT

Minimum 12 weeks; maximum 6 months

SOCI/MANU    Open Spaces: FULL    AGE 22+

The Dismas House provides housing and opportunities to men and women getting out of prison so that they can successfully transition back into the community. www.dismasofvermont.org

WORK:  Volunteers will be working as a Resident Advisor as well as on administrative tasks in small office. Volunteers are also expected to support the residential community by participating in group activities.

ACCOMMODATION: Shared room in large Victorian house, meals & laundry provided.

LOCATION: Burlington, Vermont. Burlington is a beautiful college town overlooking Lake Champlain (Pop. 40,000). Burlington is also the home of Volunteers For Peace and we welcome volunteers in our office. There are two other Dismas locations nearby in Winooski and Rutland Vermont.

 

VFP-MTV02-16: COMMUNITY REENTRY and SOCIAL JUSTICE – WINOOSKI, VERMONT

Minimum 12 weeks; maximum 6 months

SOCI/MANU    Open Space: FULL    AGE: 21+

The Dismas House provides housing and opportunities to men and women getting out of prison so that they can successfully transition back into the community. www.dismasofvermont.org

WORK:  Volunteers will be working as a Resident Advisor as well as on administrative tasks in small office. Volunteers are also expected to support the residential community by participating in group activities.

ACCOMMODATION: Shared room in a house, meals & laundry provided. Access to Wi-Fi is also available.

LOCATION: Winooski, Vermont. Winooski borders Burlington and has a population of ~8,000. There are colleges and universities nearby, the lake and mountains and much to do.

 

VFP-MTV03-16: COMMUNITY REENTRY, SOCIAL JUSTICE – RUTLAND, VERMONT

Minimum 12 weeks; maximum 6 months

SOCI/MANU    Open Space: FULL    AGE: 24+

Rutland DISMAS HOUSE provides transitional drug, alcohol and violence free housing opportunity to men and women getting out of prison so they can successfully reconcile with the community before living independently. www.dismasofvermont.org

WORK: A good deal of participation in various components of fundraising activities, representing Dismas at speaking engagements on college campuses and at civic organizations, working with clothing and food donations and support of the residential community by participating in house group activities.  The average daily work commitment expected is up to 5 -6 hours per day, however, the hours are varied and non-traditional, and may include some weekends and evenings.  As a resident of the house, volunteers will live as an equal to and with the same expectations as the former prisoner residents:  The volunteer is not at Dismas to act in a counseling or other related capacity.

ACCOMMODATION:  Modestly furnished shared room in a large Victorian house; sheets, towels, meals, laundry facilities, internet access provided.

LOCATION: Rutland is a beautiful small city in the Green Mountains with nearby lakes and streams, population 17,500.

 

VFP-MTV04-16: HOUSE BUILDING RESTORATION in NEW ORLEANS

Minimum 1 Month; Maximum 3 Months

CONS/RENO   Open Space: FULL    AGE: 18+

Lowernine.org in New Orleans, Louisiana is a non-political, secular organization dedicated to helping this historic neighborhood recover and return to its former vibrant self. www.lowernine.org
Work:  Experienced carpenters, roofers, plumbers, painters and other tradesmen needed for rebuilding homes in the flood-damaged Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. Unskilled volunteers will be trained by skilled staff.  All aspects of home rebuilding will be addressed, from roofing to finish carpentry.  5-day week of full work days. Medium-term volunteers provide free labor to neighborhood residents, so they can return home after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Isaac. Work can be difficult and it is hot in New Orleans!

ACCOMMODATION:  Housing is in dormitory style bunk rooms. No smoking in the house.  No drugs allowed. No alcohol allowed in the house or on the property. Vegetarian meals available.

LOCATION: New Orleans, LA, 2 miles east of the French Quarter.

 

VFP-MTV05-16: EXPLORE NEW YORK

Minimum 1 Months; Maximum 3 Months (JUNE to NOVEMBER)

DISA/CULT   Open Space: FULL    AGE: 21+

SPROUT in New York, New York is dedicated to helping individuals with developmental disabilities to grow through challenging and safe travel experiences. www.gosprout.org

WORK: Volunteers will co-lead small groups of adults with special needs on short vacations to various destinations. Responsibilities include ensuring safety, providing emotional and physical support, enhancing fun, budgeting, driving and activity planning 24 hours a day while on trips. Volunteers must be willing to assist with all Adult Daily Living skills (brushing teeth, separating dirty clothes, showering etc.). This is very challenging work, yet also very rewarding and fun. Experience working with this population is an asset but not required. Training will be provided. Between trips, some light office work or assistance is required.

ACCOMMODATION: While on trips you will stay in hotels. In between trips, you will stay at a youth hostel. Volunteers will be responsible for their own meals, transportation and activities when not on a trip.

LOCATION: Manhattan, New York City & various destinations.

 

VFP-MTV06-16: SPECIAL NEEDS SUMMER CAMP, VERMONT | 14-JUN to 6-AUG

DISA    Open Space: FULL    AGE: 18+

CAMP THORPE, in Goshen, Vermont provides camping experiences for children and adults with a range of social, emotional, physical, and developmental needs by connecting them with an international group of motivated young people that serve as our Counselors.

WORK: Work as a summer camp staff member and enjoy the activities and events that take place as you support our campers through our traditional camp programming. You will help our campers as they benefit from a fun, safe residential camping experience. You will take part in all activities including swimming, sports, arts & crafts, music, dance and more! Job Rotations will include supervision and care of assigned campers during a six hour time block; supporting campers in Nature, Sports, Arts and Crafts, and Music activities, night events including a talent show, pirate night, campfire, and more.

ACCOMMODATIONS: You will share a small cabin with three campers. All meals are provided. Vegetarian entrée’s available. Laundry facilities are provided.

LOCATION: Goshen, Vermont is a rural community located in the heart of the Green Mountains.

VFP-MTV 07-16: GREENING THE PARK in MONTPELIER, VERMONT |  12-JUN to 13-AUG

ENVI    Open Space: FULL    AGE: 20+

MONTPELIER PARKS DEPARTMENT. See summer camp page for more infomration. www.montpelier-vt.org/parks/index.cfm

WORK: Montpelier Parks and Trees is look for a medium term intern to help with a variety of projects around the parks and then “co-lead” our local International Volunteer group working in the parks this summer from July 10th to July 30th. This would mean helping co-lead the work part of the day and then living with and helping lead afternoon and evening activities. Work projects will likely include: Trail restoration and trail building work, building trail bridges, removing invasive plant species, planting shrubs and trees, building benches, along with a variety of park maintenance work such as mowing lawns and cleaning up. Related experience helpful but not necessary. We would appreciate someone who feels comfortable leading a group in work and play.

ACCOMMODATION: Home-stay with park director or in local community. Meals provided.

LOCATION: Montpelier is the capitol of Vermont with a population of 8500, making it the smallest capitol in the U.S.