As Global Volunteers embarks on the second 30 years, we envision our influence on international volunteer service enlarging both in depth and scope. By publishing the Essential Services Prospectus, launching The St. Lucia Project and announcing the Tanzania Demonstration Village Project during this time period, Global Volunteers is poised to advance the role, respect and value of short-term volunteers worldwide.
The Essential Services Prospectus: This formative document clearly outlines the pivotal role of short-term volunteers as a delivery network for comprehensive development resources. The “12 Essential Services Triangle” is derived from the innovative work of the World Food Program, United Nations Children’s Fund, World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization. The services Global Volunteers helps local partners deliver to at-risk children and families are organized into the broad categories of: eradicating hunger, improving health, and enhancing IQ. Although we help local communities in all 12 areas, most volunteers work on three: School and household gardens using Earth Box technology; hygiene education focusing on hand washing with soap and water; and general education tutoring of math, science, reading and computer literacy along with conversational English. As an infinitely renewable resource, short-term volunteers can transform the long-term self-sufficiency of local communities.
The St. Lucia Project: Global Volunteers initiated The St. Lucia Project to (1) demonstrate that the 12 Essential Services enhance the intellectual capability of at-risk children, and (2) prove how a continuous stream of short-term volunteers, working under the direction of local leaders, help parents and community organizations deliver those services through sustainable development projects. Short-term volunteers are a key ingredient to the success of this project because they bring enormous energy, skills and catalytic assistance to the effort, and they pay their own expenses. The effort to deliver the essential services and document changes in IQ will take at least five years and require between 200 and 300 two-week volunteers per year. Global Volunteers is exploring a research design and conducting conversations with possible funders. Researchers will establish a baseline IQ for children and then conduct a follow up study in 3 to 4 years later. If the effort to raise children’s IQ in Anse La Raye is successful, it will definitively demonstrate that short-term volunteers can have a measurable and scalable impact on social and economic change.
The Tanzania Demonstration Village Project: Building on the work Global Volunteers has done in the Iringa District of Tanzania since 1987, we plan to expand the 12 Essential Services Model to 100 communities in south-central Tanzania. We expect it will require a minimum of 10 years in each community for the necessary behavioral changes and appropriate technological innovations to take effective root. Three hundred short-term volunteers, working in teams of 13 to 18 volunteers spread over the course of a year, are needed to help parents and community organizations deliver all the essential services to each community of 2,000 to 4,000 people. When this demonstration project is successful, we will expand our reach to other parts of Tanzania, throughout Africa and across the globe. This effort could literally change the world. It only requires two percent of the developed world population to volunteer for two to three weeks. We all know two people out of 100 who, if persuaded they could help change the face of the planet, would step up and participate!