30 August 2010

Volunteer Openings in the Balkans!

Here are our listings for the four openings we have in the Balkans - new volunteers are needed!

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.

Additional Information, Small Steps (PDF)
Additional Information, Mennonite Central Committee (PDF)

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 to 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.

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.

Additional Information (PDF)

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 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 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; interest in interfaith dialogue. If the volunteer comes from a peace church background, we would appreciate willingness to share that history/theological background. 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)

10 August 2010

Reporting from the field

NEW YORK, May 2, 2010

Some 10,000 people participated in a mass demonstration in New York on Sunday, calling for a world free of nuclear weapons. The rally was held one day prior to the the opening of the UN Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which was scheduled to open on Monday. As Communications Officer for my project, IFOR, I was invited to participate by FOR USA's Executive Director Mark Johnson.

May 2, 2010 organized march on the UN Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in New York City.

CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin (lt) and Stan Morris (rt) discuss CODEPINK's early formation and activism in San Francisco, CA; both images by Linda Kelly, FOR USA Development.