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.
At a time in my life where I experienced significant growth I was fortunate for the opportunity to participate in Service for Peace's wonderful Dominican Republic trip. While I was there I learned the value of many lessons in life -- one of these was the sustainability of teamwork in accomplishing the goals of the trip. These relationships were strengthened by the group team-building activities we did every night. It was quite the experience. We were able to work with the community in the construction of two schools (I went twice) on a mutually reliant level. As i went twice, i noticed that the program efficiency and execution got better he second time around, indicating strong improvement. I have not participated in a few years, but based on the trends i observed, Service for Peace is heading in the right direction as one of the best organizations out there.
Absolutely amazing life changing. I went to the Dominican Republic and built a school building with other volunteers that are still some of my closest friends.
I have volunteered with this organization for three years and have always had a meaningful experience. This organization is great because not only do you do physical work for the community but there are also activities to help you reflect and team build. You really build a bond with the people you meet and hear all kinds of incredible stories of where people have been and what they have done. On top of that you get to really experience the culture and the country you are in. You get to know the community, partake in their cultural activities as well as sight see. With Service for Peace you really get the whole package and come away as a more thoughtful and globally conscious person.
I'm proud to have been part of the first wave working to establish the FSP model of service and community building in South Florida during the "Summer of Service" in 2003. Culturally diverse college and high school students worked together completing service projects in multicultural, multireligious communities. It was inspiring to see how barriers immediately came down, and relationships were forged. Through these service projects, Service For Peace reminds us what is at the core of human progress and understanding.
Volunteering with Service For Peace, was a life changing experience for me. It was not just about building a school or giving to someone in need. It was about working together with the community and building bonds across the world.
I served with Service For Peace (SFP) in different locations. Being an IT guy, most of the work I did was online. However, in Jan 2012 I had a chance of physically participating in one a Global PeaceMaker program which is led and facilitated by SFP. This took place in a small community in the Dominican Republic and the goal was to build levees to protect the community from the flooding that had destroyed their homes the previous year. During this time, I saw the true meaning of Community Driven Development. I saw the true and honest dedication that the SFP team puts in development work. This was by far, one my best experiences in life and I urge anyone to take part in this program as it was very mind opening & life changing for me.
I had often heard about volunteer programs. And in 2009, I served with Service For Peace and had the opportunity to learn about their volunteer programs starting with the Martin Luther King program that runs across the US and their international Global PeaceMaker program advanced in Africa, Latin America/Carribean, Europe and Asia. Through Service For Peace I was able to really understood the transformation that a volunteer program can have in driving development and impacting individuals, families and their community. The model that Service For Peace advances is broken down in a manner that is practical and applicable, and one that can be a force in building ownership and generating resource from within the communities.
I visited few project sites of SFPN in Sarlahi, Nepal as a new member of GP Connect Nepal Team. I found that SFP Nepal has done a lot of work in different areas such as orphanage home, mobile libraries, mini libraries, women literacy classes etc. Most of these projects are targeted for children and women of the village. These projects have really helped children and women in the village to be literate and continue their studying habit. I could see the hard work of SFPN staffs in implementing these projects and also ensuring that they are running in a proper way all the time. However there needs to be a regular monitoring to all the project sites so that we know the problem they are facing and act quickly to solve it.
My first experience volunteering with Service For Peace was in Washington, DC in 2002. I did a month of service there and was greatly impacted by the passion behind the movement driving service and engagement--not just service for the sake of doing/feeling good. It was about creating a movement of change. I brought this home to NY and continued to grow as a leader for SFP and local service for years, until 2005, when I participated in my first Global PeaceMakers project in Frasquito Gomez, Dominican Republic. This experienced 100% transformed me and is so clearly responsible for who I am today so many ways. The idea of bringing together foreign volunteers and local volunteers to participate equally in a program was so simple but so unique; we formed a family despite language, cultural, religious differences and more. We were empowered through service and the communities where we served were empowered by our humility, our friendship, and our passion. Since then I have participated in many GPM programs around the world and am continuously impressed by the ingenuity and passion of the Communities of Peace where we work and the immense power created by breaking down barriers through shared voluntary service. I will always be an active advocate for SFP, the communities who are empowered through it, the volunteers who are changed because of it, and the mission of global peace through volunteerism and sustainable development.