Awesome organization. Folks really understand community based development and help others to understand and accomplish it.
In Service for Peace (Dominican Republic), we worked on building a two room schoolhouse in Yamasa, DR. With the help of the whole community and the volunteer team we were able to complete the project within the allotted two weeks. SFP was planning to go back and build a second school house next summer. However, that didn't happen because the government itself, seeing the work that had been done, stepped in and funded the building of the second school house itself. It was a great thing to hear and I believe that this is what SFP aims for. For me, this is what is great about Service for Peace (Dominican Republic); it is an organization that KEEPS giving back and is able to spark a chain of changes. Many of the people who were in my group were from nearby or returning for a second or third time...and that says something. I will continued to be involved in SFP because I believe that organization really works through the communities, is effective, and is full of dedicated leaders (such as Janna Gullery and Joan Mateo who lead our group). I certainly will return. The experience led me towards my current studies---I hope to work for a company such as Service for Peace.
Service for Peace changed my life. I was a pretty depressing teenager with no actual goals in life. My first project with them was a week of service in the summer. Helping my community, learning to work in a team, seeing that I could have an affect on the world, it gave me hope. I came back the next year and to my surprise and delight they not only remembered me but also encouraged me to become a team leader. The people in this organization are absolutely amazing. They stood by me, encouraged me, challenged me and helped me find the confidence I needed to make a difference not only in my own community but also in other communities around the globe. I never imagined at 14 that I would ever have the courage or opportunity to renovate a school in the mountains of Nicaragua. I never even dreamed of being able to lead the group there but I did, just a few short years later. SFP got me there and seeing the faces of the kids we were helping in that little mountain village and the others like it in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Honduras made the journey worth it.
Holding a position on the SFP Board of Directors and serving as the CEO of the organization has been one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. Most international service programs are transformative for volunteers. The program design of SFP international service programs make it more likely that local volunteers and the community will be part of this transformative experience. It has been a source of pride to observe our US based volunteers as well as local volunteers continue to grow both their intercultural competencies and their skills in community development over the years. Most of country office directors began as volunteers and then assumed greater levels of responsibility for the management of volunteers in community driven programs. Other volunteers have applied the experiences of serving in vulnerable communities in other countries and continued to advocate for policies that ensure more just and equitable communities around the world. Our volunteers gain an experience of other cultures and people that allows them to build a more global perspective of the world. This is what we call the transformative model of peacemaking.
Had the most unforgettable, deep and fun international service experiences volunteering with Service For Peace! No other non-profit I know gives you a chance to serve alongside with members of the community. I had the pleasure of joining SFP Global PeaceMaker projects in Ivory Coast, Nicaragua and Honduras and it has been life changing to say the least. I am definitely joining many more projects!
I did not have a good experience in Services for Peace. However, Since I was there in 2009 til next month I have sent probably 25,000 dollars worth of goods. Two weeks as requested by Phil Seka, I sent hospital goods. He was quite precise and I have more goods to be shipped to him and a President of a major organization is going there and probably will bring even more books at my request. The program is piloted by extremely young people. I went there when I was 63 and treated very badly by these people. To the point my daughter wrote NY after I contacted her because these young people threatened my life. I went to town to buy shoes, pantees for the children and a 19 years older told me I did not have his permission and he was going to kick me in my a...... I was old enough to be his grandmother. Phil made him give me a public apology. If you want people to go there you must separate the kids from the seasoned adults. I did not go there to socialize. From the first day, I was treated badly.
SFP acknowledges that there were challenges in trying to accommodate the needs and limitations of a 63 year old in a program in which the average age is 23. We later learned that a 17-year old Team Leader did indeed exhibit impatience with this person. Following the conclusion of the program, we communicated with this participant to address her concerns and in fact, we were confident that her continued involvement with SFP over the past three years indicated a level of trust and satisfaction with our ongoing work in Cote D'Ivoire. We were disappointed to read this review since other feedback on this and other programs has been overwhelmingly positive. We will continue to work with our staff to ensure that all participants are treated with patience and respect.
It’s truly a pleasure and honor for me to meet the road of Service For Peace. My love for community service started in 2004 when I established Service For Peace in Cote d’Ivoire. That is the beginning of my commitment to become an Agent of change, a Peacemaker to make a difference in people’s life in Africa. In 2007, we opened offices in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Gambia. Travelling up and down in communities in Africa, I understood that the major problem of that beautiful part of the world is EDUCATION. Children (the future of a country) in rural communities have no access to good education lack of facilities, school supplies and resources. Our actions in communities where we worked, provided to children not only what they need to attend school in good conditions but gave them hope to dream big. For example in Cote d’Ivoire, we renovated 2 kindergartens and 6 primary schools and donated school supplies to the kids. Every year, those facilities open its doors for the happiness of 1,500 students. I experienced cultural exchange by welcoming people as volunteers to our projects from diverse culture of all over the world.
We acted as well in conflict resolution. In 2007, with Service For Peace, we opened a PeaceMaking training center in Bouake, Cote d’Ivoire (the HQ of the ex rebels), which trained up to now, more than 500 PeaceMakers and Changemakers. Those agents were trained in Culture of Peace, conflict resolutions and Community development.
Today, Im more than grateful to serve people in such a wonderful organization. The way is still long since a lot need to be done but I can say that I also worked the path of those who make a DIFFERENCE.
Regional Director West Africa
Service For Peace
My experience with this organization was life changing. From the staff to the community of peace, each individual played a significant role in shaping the person I am today--a globally focused young professional! Each day when we woke up during our service project in Honduras, I was ready for the new challenges, the arduous work and the impact I could have in the community at-large. My first time picking up a shovel and making cement blocks from scratch left an enduring impact in the way I see the world today--one brick at a time, we can build schools, increase security world wide, and help families unite! Service for Peace, and the values expressed by this service organization inspires me everyday to look for solutions and bring change to a world in need of hope!
I worked with Service For Peace in Nairobi for a river cleanup in the Pumwani Area where the organization was conducting a River Clean up Project towards better Water Quality.
10-5 volunteers will performed a flash dance and shared public service announcements centered on clean water and promoting the water clean-up event in Pumwani, Kenya. 5 volunteers distributed Service For Peace and Sustainatopia fliers and shared information on location; time and event details of the Pumwani area clean up.
We invited media to highlight event, as well as post pictures on Facebook, highlight on Twitter and share on Youtube. The main event was a Nairobi River Clean up and tree planting activity where 200 plus Kenyans, including SFP, GPC, GPFF and GPYC staff, volunteers and community members came together to:
•Clean up a portion of Nairobi River in Pumwani, Kenya.
•Orient Pumwani community inhabitants and project participants about the impact of a clean river.
•Post pictures on Facebook and tweet the river clean up drive using respective Social Media platforms.
•Distribute fliers about Sustainatopia and Service for Peace among community members and program participants.
•Plant 200 or more tree seedlings along Nairobi River in Pumwani, Kenya.
Elaine W. Hurt, Service for Peace & GP Connect!
During my experiences in the Dominican Republic with Service For Peace, I witnessed complete strangers who do not share their language, culture, or beliefs, grow to appreciate each others' differences and work together to make positive change. How often do you hear of things like this happening in our world? It is a remarkable thing to be a part of. I would recommend this experience to any volunteer who wants to be a part of sustainable community driven development, genuinely experience a new culture, gain a family of volunteers, find oneself in a community thousands of miles from one's own, and grow as a global citizen and a human being.