VIDES is a wonderful volunteer organization that I would recommend to anyone. I loved it so much, I spent 2 summers volunteering in a junior high / high school for girls in Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras. Honduras has a high murder rate and many socioeconomic issues including a failing public education system and a systemic disrespect for women. VIDES offers a safe setting (I lived and worked in a school run by nuns respected in the community) to get to know a new country, culture, and way of life. In Honduras, my opportunities for service were limitless. I taught classes, and was constantly challenged. I felt like the work I did was necessary and appreciated. I was serving a population that is so important to Honduras' future, its female youth. I am grateful for VIDES for giving me the opportunity to fall in love with and serve the people of Honduras.
Review from Guidestar
Great working Non-Profit organization all over the world. It takes volunteers to places they never even imagined...Thank God for this organization...
VIDES allows volunteers to assist women and children to better their lives. After attending a solid orientation program, volunteers work all over the world to help promote indepedence, self esteem, & learning. I just returned from Guatemala where the mission utilizes 'micro-lending' - which is a hot word for a simple concept - help a women buy a pig, she pays back this loan when she sells the pig. Now she has bought a second pig, two chickens and corn to plant. She has five kids (the husband has abandoned them). Now, she is learning to become independent. She sees what she can do to better the lives of her family. This is just one example - there are so many more just like this. Thank you VIDES for your philosophy and dedication to the empowerment of women and children.
VIDES USA is a wonderful organization both in its promotion of women and children throughout the world and in it's providing of opportunities for American young people to work for service and social justice in a wide array of domestic and international settings. I was able to work as a VIDES USA volunteer in Mozambique for 18 months where I taught high school classes, worked with young girls in an orphanage, and designed and implemented various projects for the promotion of women and children in a very under-resourced setting. I loved living and working with the Salesian sisters as they provided me a home community and a context in which to enter an impoverished area and used my skills in the best way possible to serve others.
As a member of the Vides Advisory Board, I was invited to participate in the 2010 UN Commission on the Status of Women. The conference provided me with an opportunity not only yo see how the Vides volunteer missioners teach, accompany, and empower the women they work with on an individual basis, but I was able to learn how Vides advocates for women on a global level. Vides co-sponsored(with the Salesian Sisters) an event about "The Empowerment of Indigenous Women and Girls." The projects that Vides and the Sisters operate around the world lead to the improvement of entire communities. Vides helps women improve their lives in all areas. For example, through acquired skills women soon become owners of their own businesses. Vides and the Salesian Sisters foster independence, not dependence on volunteers and benefactors. Vides supports its volunteers through service and beyond.
I discovered VIDES when I was in college looking for a summer volunteer program. I was immediately drawn to their mission of empowering young people and women and the many types of service opportunities that the organization was able to provide. I participated in the mandatory Formation/Service Camp and learned even more what the organization is all about. VIDES promotes the DIGNITY of women around the globe, regardless of education, nationality, age, etc. At a global level, VIDES advocates for the promotion of women through participation at the United Nations. On a smaller scale, the volunteers themselves work hand in hand with women to help them achieve self-sufficiency, independence, self-confidence and the dignity that is a basic right of all individuals. After my service ended, I have continued to return to the Formation/Service Camps to help prepare new volunteers for their service experiences all around the world. I hear their stories when they return, and we inspire each other to continue living lives of services and promoting the vulnerable in our home communities--especially young people and women.