MANNA PROJECT INTERNATIONAL
Rating: 4 stars 1 review
Issues: Education, International, Philanthropy
Location: PO Box 121052 Nashville TN 37212 USA
Mission: To foster communities of young adults and encourage them to use their passions and education in service to communities in need.
Vision: To establish a global network of Manna Project communities where young adults live and work alongside one another in underserved communities to initiate positive change.
Programs: Currently, MPI has one international site in Managua, Nicaragua and is developing a second in Quito, Ecuador. In addition, we have five college campus chapters which support MPI and raise awareness of the need for young people to take part on a global level. In Nicaragua, our community-based programs include a literacy program, feeding program, English classes, sports teams, preschool, women's exercise group, microfinance and child sponsorship.
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I first volunteered with Manna Project during my freshman year of college at Vanderbilt University. They were offering short-term service trips to Nicaragua, and I was lucky enough to join without knowing what I was getting into. From there I was hooked on international development. Seeing people just out of college working full-time in Latin American countries inspired me to get more involved in service back in the States, and eventually led me to Guatemala, where I now work full time for Manna. The organization gives its employees a significant amount of early responsibility, and has a good volunteer development program in place that pushes us to put the community’s wishes first in our work. Instead of strict protocol there’s flexible dialogue, and instead of consultants and oversight, there’s encouragement and freedom. On the ground we provide dedicated service to the communities where we work and push ourselves to create sustainable initiatives that utilize existing strengths, work through partner organizations, and highlight positive deviants to motive other residents.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
many ways. First as a college student and beneficiary of the local and domestic service opportunities the Vanderbilt chapter offered, and now as a Program Director who has the opportunity to lead projects in the International Development field.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
expand the presence of campus chapters and strengthen the training for grant writing provided to Program Directors.
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?
Greater resources in anticipation of the trip.
Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)
As a result of my early volunteer experiences with Manna Project I now work full-time with the organization and am planning on continuing in the international development field.
How did this volunteer experience make you feel?
Humbled and moved by the dedication of people I respected dedicating their careers to international service.
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?