28 March 2010

Visiting Volunteers in N.Ireland and Ireland

Singing at Quaker Cottage in Belfast.

"After schools" in a Belfast community center.

Savoring produce in Kilcranny House's polytunnel.

Hard at work with the Holywell Consultancy in Londonderry.

And an evening at the L'Arche community in Dublin.

25 March 2010

New Volunteers in Europe

Maybe I should be posting photos of new BVSers who pass through Geneva en route to their new projects. Aha.. Okay, so here are the first five volunteers here this year -- already more than the total for 2009!

Here's Cheryl who headed for Kilcranny House in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, in January:

And then Kendra arrived in February; she's in Hamburg with the German office of the Peace Brigades International:

And just last week, Pam (Quaker Cottage) and Lucy and Micah (L'Arche Belfast) stopped by en route to Northern Ireland:

22 March 2010

Volunteering in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia

Here are our openings in the Balkans for late summer and fall. You can find more information on the BVS website.

1110. Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina

The Abrasevic Youth Cultural Center believes that positive change is possible in post-war Mostar, and therefore offers programs and resources to promote social change, and to develop civil society and a cultural scene in the city and region. OKC Abrasevic started in 2003 as a response to the need for an active and safe space which would offer youth (ages 15-35) the possibility for creative expression, cultural education, open-minded social discussion, analysis and critique. Activities include regular cultural events (films, concerts, exhibitions, performances), festivals, discussions, and ongoing reconstruction of the building and grounds. An International Volunteer would be welcome, ideally someone familiar with non-profit cultural management and relevant European/regional contacts (artists and funders)—how bring concerts, films, performances, etc to the center and find funding to do so—or with knowledge of marketing to help OKC more effectively strategize and market their programming to reach a wider audience. Other needed skills: education and/or experience in the fields of finance/accounting, management, computer technology, cultural activities, fundraising, video, graphic design, IT/web maintenance. Requirements: Good communication and interpersonal skills, willingness to learn the local language, general computer skills, high level of autonomy/independence, flexibility, adaptability, patience, ability to work under stress as well as to enjoy relaxed social atmosphere.

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.

We have a new placement in Sarajevo not yet listed on the BVS website – and have a candidate for it already!

1102.1 Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Small Steps and MCC, two organizations in Sarajevo, would like to share a Volunteer. The Association for Dialogue in Family and Society SMALL STEPS promotes peace and non-violence at all levels of society, is committed to gender equality and an interfaith vision of peace based on the history of diverse religious traditions and position of women in society in Bosnia-Herzegovina. SMALL STEPS works on raising awareness of women in peacebuilding activities, developing interfaith dialogue, gender equality, and promoting nonviolent actions through trainings, seminars, round tables, and publishing books. The volunteer consultant for project proposals would help analyze and consult about lists of possible donors and sponsors, writing proposals, contacting donors, and writing reports. Requirements: education in field of peacebuilding; experience in writing project proposals desired but not required if volunteer is willing to learn. Priorities for the Mennonite Central Committee office for Southeast Europe are peace (interreligious bridgebuilding, trauma healing, peacebuilding), community development and social service (empowering local institutions for long term services), and relief (focus on vulnerable populations). The special projects assistant volunteer would first focus on language learning, then assist with office computer work and research for projects related to trauma healing, interfaith bridgebuilding, the NGO Council, and other English editing as needed. Other activities might include occasional trips or accompanying visitors, support for MCC partner organizations, and learning about peacebuilding methodologies. Requirements: strong leadership and managing skills, good computer and internet skills, interest in networking with other organizations and individuals. Requirements for both: college degree, maturity, flexibility, communication and organizational skills, strong motivation to learn Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian language.
www.seeurope.mcc.org, www.malikoraci.com.ba