Monday, March 28, 2011

Global Brigades

A fellow classmate found this organization. They provide services focused in medical fields but also law and development!

They seem to emphasize on university student involvement and are open to starting local chapter clubs on campuses.

UCLA apparently has their own Medical Brigades! Facebook Medical Brigades page

Saturday, March 26, 2011

If you are a social worker, volunteer, interested in non-profit work, or just an overall do-gooder and you haven't heard of you MUST check it out. It's a great hub for jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities, and networking.

It's not necessarily for international placements, but it does have links to international non-profits and domestic organizations that do work abroad. They also travel around the country to host volunteer fairs at university campuses like UCLA.

ABroader View

One of many many volunteer programs out there- this one interestingly offers specifically "Social Welfare" programs (as well as law, child care, language immersion, and more) - however the SW programs are concentrated in Central and South America (and 1 in Africa).

If you are interested in doing some social work in

  • Chile
  • Peru
  • Costa Rica
  • Ecuador
  • and Tanzania
Check out Abroader View

Cross-Cultural Solutions

Here is a big organization that arranges volunteer opportunities aboard -they have programs in

  • South America
  • Eastern Europe 
  • Asia
  • Africa
They also have various areas of focus for your placements- from health to economic empowerment to women. Their placements can last from 1 week to 12 weeks. 

"Cross-Cultural Solutions is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1995. Today, 25,000 people have participated in our volunteer programs in Africa,AsiaLatin America, and Eastern Europe. CCS has a worldwide staff of over 300 people in 12 countries, with administrative offices also located in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. In the UK, CCS is a Registered Charity (No. 1106741) and a Registered Company Limited by Guarantee (No. 4991010). In Canada, CCS is a registered non-profit corporation (Federal Corporation No. 445810-9). Steven Rosenthal founded CCS in 1995 and serves as its Executive Director.
CCS has been profiled in more than 500 news outlets, including: CNNThe New York TimesThe San Francisco ChronicleTimeNewsweekThe Chicago Tribune,The Toronto StarThe Today ShowUSA TodayNational Geographic Traveler, and the ABC Nightly News."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

i-to-i Volunteer and Adventure Travel

This seems to be more of those organizations that "work hard, play hard" - combining some volunteer serving with tourist activities.

They specialize in offering TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)

They offer programs by the week up to 12 weeks, but they also have some special internships every year for 2011 it's for China and Thailand.

United Planet

United Planet seems like a well-organized program with a good, solid reputation. They have a wide variety of programs- there's pretty much something for everyone.

* solo travelers
* college/ grad students
* families
* corporate groups
* teens

40 countries to volunteer in - there's at least 1 program in every continent (except Antarctica!)
Including: Tibet, Ecuador, Cambodia, Romania, and Jordan.

Another unique feature they have are "group" trips organized and customized for groups.

* Social work related internships in Peru, Nepal, and Jordan!
* Spanish immersion

Monday, March 14, 2011

Global Experiences - Get an Edge in Life

While they don't have "social work" internships per se, they do offer many internship areas that could be very useful and related to social work: education, communications, government, law, etc.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Go...

It's great that people have big enough hearts as to say they want to drop whatever they are doing and get over to a disaster zone to volunteer...but it's definitely not as simple as just joining a volunteer program. Disaster relief aid is a completely different environment -ask yourself are you mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially prepared?

  • Can I afford to pay my way there?
  • Do I need an organization to help sponsor me?  Can I do fundraising to contribute to my ticket and airfare costs?  
  • Do I have a U.S. passport?
  • Am I current on my vaccinations?
  • How about lodging once in there?
  • Would it be better that I support a reputable organization or sponsor somebody who is better qualified than me to go on such a trip?

This is in no way to discourage people from giving with their hearts, but there have been some controversy that has come up, especially from "professional relief aid workers" on the topic of regular citizens volunteering aboard in the mist of a natural disaster. Their message is that while most people have the best intentions, they are ill-prepared and have high expectations, and are naive. So consider carefully and be honest with yourself. 

Disaster Relief in Japan

Yesterday the US woke up to the news of a tsunami devastating Japan. Money and aid is pouring into Japan and if you want to help here are some websites to check out.