26 August 2009

Volunteering in Europe

Here’s a list of all of the current BVS openings in Europe, as of August 2009. For more information about BVS, please look at the www.brethrenvolunteerservice.org website or contact me at brethrenservice@worldcom.ch . (At the bottom of this blog entry, I’ll list the placements which are currently/soon to be occupied.)

812. Rouen, France
The Emmaus Community, part of a 50+ year old worldwide movement of communities offering a home and work to the homeless, seeks a Volunteer to play an active role in this community of 45 men, women and couples, as well as with its recycling projects (e.g. furniture, clothing, metal, paper). Tasks include working alongside and animation of the companions, possibly being in charge of one of the clothing sorting/shops, other duties are flexible according to the skills and interests of the volunteer. Requirements: Genuine interest in people, basic-to-good level of French and willingness to learn more, independence, ability to work in a team, able to see what needs to be done, willing to take on responsibility if needed.
Additional Information (PDF)

1164. Brussels, Belgium
Pax Christi International, a Catholic movement promoting peace, international understanding and justice, seeks a Volunteer for the international secretariat. (A) Youth Volunteer: To coordinate and plan for involvement of youth at the Pax Christi Triennial World Assembly in Strasbourg in May 2010, as well as follow-up, youth projects, and other office tasks as needed. Requirements: English mother tongue, writing and communication skills, ability to think creatively, focus on details, work independently as well as in cooperation with others. Desired but non-essential qualities: previous youth work experience, other languages (French, Spanish). (B) Web Development Volunteer: To maintain & update the Pax Christi public as well as internal websites, intranet site, maintain the referencing program, and attend communication workshop meetings. Requirements: Bilingual English and French (and Dutch an asset), excellent knowledge of HTML, JAVASCRIPT, MySQL, and PHP (5), experience with Apache webserver and windows webserver; ability to think creatively, focus on details, and work independently. (C) Information and Communication Technology Volunteer: To assist staff with hardware and software problems, maintain email accounts, computers, systems, and office machines. Requirements: Bilingual English and French (and Dutch an asset), excellent knowledge of MS windows XP system, office suits; some experience with MySQL and PHP; ability to think creatively, focus on details, and work independently; patience.
Additional Information (PDF)

232. Newcastle, Northern Ireland
Greenhill YMCA, offering children, youth, and adults outdoor education, personal development, and cross-community programs in a caring atmosphere motivated by Christian concern, seeks Outdoor Tutors/Instructors to facilitate and lead groups in center programs, ensuring the safety and well being of individuals and groups using the center. Tasks would include escorting, assisting, and instructing groups on center activities; assisting cross-community sessions; acting as 24-hour on-call instructor as required; assisting staff in domestic and grounds maintenance; participating in own training programs as needed or relevant. Outdoor education activities include canoeing, climbing, archery, ropes courses. Requirements: Initiative, flexibility, patience, self-motivation, responsibility; willingness to participate in staff training and uphold the center's rules and safety standards; respect for and willingness to work with cross community, adult, youth, disabled groups; experience/enjoy working with groups, particularly in outdoor settings.
Additional Information (PDF)

609. County Kilkenny, Ireland (three houses in/near small town and in village)
611. Dublin, Ireland (two houses in city)
612. Tecklenburg, Germany (three houses in small town)
613. Belfast, Northern Ireland (one house in city)
615. Cork, Republic of Ireland (five houses in and near city)
BVS placements are available in these locations at some of the many L'Arche communities in Europe. L’Arche invites Assistants to come and share life with people with intellectual disabilities building a community where everyone is valued regardless of ability, creed or culture. Requirements: 21 years old; open to living with people of varying abilities in a community where God is recognized as the source of life and difference is seen as a gift; accepting of people of different cultures, social origins, and practices; driver's license helpful but not essential.
Additional Information (PDF)
http://www.larche.ie/ (609, 611, 615)
http://www.larchebelfast.org.uk/ (613)
http://www.arche-deutschland.de/ (612)

1112. Alkmaar, Netherlands
The International Secretariat of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) seeks (A) a Communications Officer for correspondence, printed/electronic publications, and general administration in the International Secretariat, and (B) a Fundraiser for developing and implementing a fundraising strategy in close cooperation with the fellowship's branches worldwide. Duties for A include maintaining database/server, processing electronic/printed materials, research/news writing, updating website, grant proposal writing, computer work, and proofreading. Duties for B include contacting and visiting member branches for initiatives, research and networking with donors, building coalitions and designing/compiling proposals, and reconnecting the branches within the fellowship. Other duties reflect the skills of the volunteer(s) and the needs of the organization (note: this description is not definitive). Requirements: Commitment to peace and non-violence, self starter, college degree, organizational skills and ability to set priorities, computer knowledge, writing/editing skills, willingness to do varied tasks, second language helpful (especially French and Dutch). Prior experience for fundraising position would be advantageous, but not required.
Additional Information (PDF)
Communications Officer position: Available summer or fall 2010

NEW: 1101.8. Laufdorf-Schoeffengrund, Germany
Church and Peace is an ecumenical, European network of faith communities, groups, and individuals committed to becoming the peace church of Jesus Christ in daily life and action. Members consider the nonviolence of the gospel an essential characteristic of the Church, calling for a witness of service, reconciliation, and peacemaking. The International Office seeks a Communications and Events Assistant to support Church and Peace’s communications work, manage conference logistics, and provide administrative support for the International Office. Duties include: support of coordination and development oversight of C&P communications work; support the production of all C&P printed materials; assistance in managing logistics for meetings and conferences; providing IT and administrative support for the International Office. Requirements: experience and/or studies in communications work, preferably with an NGO; excellent written communication skills; facility with computers; facility with or ability to learn design software package; experience with or ability to learn Content Management Systems; good organizational skills/attention to detail; ability to work independently within a team, manage multiple projects, work under time pressure; interest in Christian peace & reconciliation work and life in a Christian community; intermediate German or willingness to learn German; French an asset.

1115. Hamburg, Germany
The German branch of Peace Brigades International (PBI) seeks an International Volunteer. PBI is an international NGO working on nonviolent conflict transformation with projects in Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Indonesia, and Nepal. The tasks of the volunteer are to support the work of the German branch through daily office duties, public relations, participating in decision-making meetings, supporting fund-raising activities, information dissemination, and participation in educational activities. Requirements: Interest in nonviolent conflict transformation. Good knowledge of German and willingness to improve. Flexibility, adaptability to other cultures, ability to work in groups and with group decision-making processes. Basic computer proficiency; additional computer skills would be desired but not necessary. Any knowledge of the conflicts and countries in which PBI has projects would be an asset. Other skills which would be assets but not required include public speaking, conflict analysis, writing reports/articles, and translating (German-English and German-Spanish).
Additional Information (PDF)

1131. Minden, Germany
The International Fellowship of Reconciliation IFOR is an organization of people believing in non-violence as a lifestyle and as a method of personal, political, and social change. The German branch of IFOR - Internationaler Versoehnungsbund, Deutscher Zweig would like to give young interested people the opportunity to learn about peace work in Germany and seeks an International Volunteer to work in the national office in Minden. Duties include assistance in, preparation of, and participation in the annual conference, board meetings, summer camps, youth gatherings and other events, as well as support of projects and campaigns. Requirements: Nonviolent convictions; ability to work in a team as well as alone; basic computer skills/knowledge (at least Word, and Excel and/or graphics programs welcomed); prior knowledge of spoken and written German would be helpful, but not essential - if the volunteer is willing and motivated to learn the language at the start of term; communication skills; flexibility, initiative and creativity. Experience in public relations and/or event planning useful.
Additional Information (PDF)

1188. Berlin, Germany
Aktion Suehnezeichen Friedensdienste (Action Reconciliation - Service for Peace), a volunteer organization desiring to set a “sign of atonement” for the crimes of the Nazi era, seeks a Volunteer for its public relations and fund-raising department. Duties include routine office work (answering inquiries, helping with mass mailings, etc), maintaining periodical, video, photo and slide archives, assisting in organizing “Projekt Blickwechsel” (preparing a meeting of voluntary workers, coordinating former volunteers’ school visits), as well as helping organize ASF participation in the annual Christopher Street Day events, and assisting with fundraising and donation campaigns. Opportunity for weekly visit with elderly members of the Jewish Congregation in Berlin. Requirements: Good knowledge of verbal and written German, computer skills, willingness and ability to take initiative, flexibility, familiarity with Central European history.
Additional Information (PDF)

1822. Bonn, Germany
Germanwatch, a non-profit north-south initiative engaged in directing German political policy towards sustainability (motto: "to change the north so that the south can survive"), striving for a political framework to combat global warming, for a fair world trading regime, and increased socially responsible investment, seeks a Program Assistant. The main field of work would be in the global warming program (climate responsibility campaign). Duties include co-organizing campaign events and expert meetings, writing/translating/correcting English texts, and daily routine office work. Depending on skills, additional duties are possible. Requirements: College degree or higher, good knowledge of German and willingness to improve, good command of written English, computer skills, willingness to do routine office work about one-third of the time, ability to work independently and in a team. Strong interest in (and good basic knowledge of) at least one of the following topics: global warming, global governance, north-south politics, WTO, financial markets.
Additional Information (PDF)

2025. Neuwied, Germany
EIRENE International Christian Service for Peace, an ecumenical volunteer and development agency, providing an alternative to the obligatory military service in Germany, seeks a Volunteer for the North and East Program. Around 50 volunteers are sent annually as part of EIRENE's North and East programs to do voluntary service on projects promoting nonviolence, justice, inter-religious dialogue and environmental concerns in Northern Ireland, Ireland, France, Belgium, USA, Canada, Romania and Bosnia-Herzegovina. This office volunteer will be responsible for volunteer accompaniment and administrative tasks in the North and East Program such as: processing inquiries, distribution of volunteers' newsletters, address administration, preparation of financial transfers, helping organize the five different kinds of EIRENE seminars for volunteers before, during and after their terms of service, helping to host guests and other tasks as needed in the EIRENE headquarters, and participation in various EIRENE meetings and commissions. Requirements: Previous experience in or at least openness to the ecumenical movement, background in the voluntary service sector helpful, outgoing personality, ability to multi-task, good knowledge of German or willingness to improve at start of term, computer skills (word processing, data base, internet), office/administration knowledge/experience, previous group work or pedagogical experience helpful.
Additional Information (PDF)

1646. Prijedor, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Bread of Life, a Christian humanitarian association founded by Protestant churches in Serbia, with an office in northwest Bosnia-Herzegovina since 1996, originally provided food and material aid for the needs of refugees, displaced, and marginalized persons, and is now developing programs to promote income-generation, long-term employment and self-sustainability of its beneficiaries. Some of these programs include a trial project of interest-free loans and other support to dairy farmers; an employment project of loans and support to young people involved in agriculture and crafts in a rural area; low-cost English and computer courses at an education center; annual distribution of Christmas presents to the area schoolchildren; and capacity building of the organization. Bread of Life seeks a co-worker/assistant for income-generation projects. Duties include assisting the director and program manager with writing and implementing income-generating projects, assistance with fund-raising for new projects, contact with new/existing donor organizations, and assistance with creation/development of new/existing capacities of the organization. Requirements preferred: experience in the NGO sector in a developing country or Eastern Europe; ability to adjust easily to new environments and cultures; expertise in fields of economics or agriculture. Willingness to learn the local language.

1101.3 Sesvete/Zagreb, Croatia
RAND (Regional Address for Nonviolent Action) is a small organization which promotes nonviolence as a lifestyle and a way of relating, through training courses and networking. RAND considers nonviolence an important tool of resistance to passive acceptance of inequity in communities as well as to military and violent conflicts. RAND tries to weave together spirituality, societal involvement, and continuous learning. An International Volunteer is invited to join our work especially for the areas of website development, public relations support and press work, creating promotional and information materials, as well as with fundraising development. The volunteer can also accompany us to our trainings in the various Balkan countries and can take part in the informal aspects of the gatherings, possibly to interview the participants. Requirements: Experience or training in areas of website development, public relations work and/or fundraising development. Motivation to promote nonviolence; knowledge about topics such as structural violence and nonviolent resistance and willingness to share; roots in a peace church and willingness to share history and theological background with us; interest in interfaith dialogue, knowledge of Croatian language or willingness to learn quickly; knowledge of German language would be very helpful. Flexibility and adaptability to cultural differences and irregular working hours.
Additional Information (PDF)

BVS PLACEMENTS IN EUROPE currently/soon to be occupied by volunteers (and which will be open in the future):

113. Belfast, Northern Ireland: QUAKER COTTAGE
611. Dublin, Republic of Ireland: L’ARCHE DUBLIN
1100.3 and 1101.4 Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland: THE JUNCTION & HOLYWELL CONSULTANCY (combined)
1137. Coleraine, Northern Ireland: KILCRANNY HOUSE

1112. Alkmaar, the Netherlands: IFOR communications officer post

1100.7. Budapest, Hungary: World Student Christian Federation Europe Office

1110. Mostar, BiH: OKC ABRASEVIC

1028. Hamburg, Germany: BROT und ROSEN COMMUNITY

06 August 2009

The Bill (Climate Justice)

At the Euro BVS retreat in July we visited one of our projects, Germanwatch, and got a preview of this short film...