Bpeace is one of a kind. I have been volunteering with and supporting Bpeace for >10 years. The initial draw for me was the hands-on impact I felt through volunteering - I literally knew the people who benefited from my support, which is so rare in nonprofits! Over the years, my initial good impression has been reconfirmed time and time again. The operating model is lean, transparent, pragmatic and effective - and the original cofounder Toni is passionate and driven beyond measure. Bpeace makes smart choices - and in return, they make impact.
In November, I travelled to Guatemala City, to mentor a small technology integration company, Grupo Set, as they were transitioning from father to son, as a company ownership. It was a great experience and I was so impressed with the way BPeace handled the introductions, travel and the overall experience. I would recommend BPeace for anyone looking to do some Pro Bono work in another country.
My work with Bpeace has been an inspiration for launching my own consulting business helping people bring their product ideas to life. My trip to El Salvador made me realize how much I like being in this role. What a gift!
Working with Bpeace has been the best volunteering experience of my career. As a traveling mentor I got to work hands on with the people that benefit from Bpeace's work. It was extremely productive and rewarding!
BPeace has been a great resource for my business to grow and chart a clear roadmap. The ideals within BPeace are clear from everyone inside the organization, everyone working with them and the rest of the Fastrunners. The people inside the organization truly love that they do and since what they do is help out organizations. I can without a doubt say they are a group of excellent people who love to help.
I am currently in the BPeace Program in El Salvador as a Fast Runner, I have a Bakery Tuco&Tico, which has been up and running for 5 years now. During Mark Flemming's visit we had a great meeting where he advised us on changes we could make to be able to grow. A month has gone by and we are begging to see great results based on the suggestions, staring with a huge step of opening a third store by the end of the year 2016! Thanks BPeace we are looking forward for the rest of the talks with the experts that we will receive during our program!
My experience with Bpeace as a Fast Runner has been extraordinary. I have found people who are passionate and willing to go out of their way to help me and my business grow. I recently met with Angela Scalpello, a wonderful lady from whom I´ve learned a lot and has helped me see my business from a different perspective. I’m very grateful for all the support and can´t wait to implement all the ideas we´ve come up with.
We wanted to take a moment to express how grateful we are with Bpeace for their continuous support, guidance, inspiration, and education that they have afforded my company and myself.
We are a family run Guatemalan company that manufactures squeeze tubes for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries. The introductions to qualified mentors and exchange of ideas have made a real difference in our lives and business. They have helped us determine the kind of company we want to be and the type of influence we want to have on Guatemala.
They recently sent us to Ohio to visit maufacturing plants. This trip was particularly significant for us. We had never expected to be received so warmly and enthusiastically and we came back from it inspired to continue to improve. The knowledge that these companies so generously shared with us, will not only help us grow as a business, but also proved that one can succeed without losing the core values that make up our foundation.
We face our future with optimism and confidence due in no small part to the inspiration they have provided, and we look forward to the next steps on our journey with Bpeace.
Cristian & Walleska Castillo
Guatemala City, Guatemala
I discovered BPeace thanks to a colleague and was immediately drawn to their mission and the fact I could use my professional skills to benefit others. Shortly after joining, I volunteered as a traveling mentor in Guatemala to coach 20 small companies in brand strategy.
My week there was a wonderful experience. The fast runners were all amazing entrepreneurs with so much drive and passion. It was highly rewarding to work with them both in a group workshop and through one-on-ones, and be able to have an impact and help them define their brand stories to grow their companies.
The organization and the projects are all very well run and everyone is lovely and so helpful. I highly recommend Bpeace to anyone who is looking to volunteer and help others in a meaningful and sustainable way.
I have volunteered with Bpeace for the last four years and I cannot say enough good things about their work. If you are looking to make an impact, Bpeace is moving the needle on some of the most important issues of our time; the organization provides simple turnkey ways for volunteers to get involved and from a volunteer perspective you are able to see how your time and energy make a difference. I highly recommend this organization and will continue to work with them for years to come.
This is a very worthwhile experience for anyone who wants to help the world by improving the standard of living of developing countries. The Bpeace team, is excellent at arranging and organizing the work and my time meeting 20 companies in 1 week was well structured and very meaningful. Thank you for engaging me and keep us the great work
My weekin Guatemala working with three female Fast Runner entrepreneurs proved to be an extraordinary experience. Immediately seeing some of the impact and value of the work we did together gave me enormous personal satisfaction. I left with the knowledge that the Bpeace mission is very powerful and very much needed around the world. I would volunteer again given the excellent ground support and care provided by the staff in Guatemala.
My experience with Bpeace has been amazing which is why I wanted to be a part of the Young Professionals Leadership Council. I love being part of an organization that not only is working towards a world with no violence but also empowers women.
My experience with Bpeace has been wonderful and amazing. They are passionate with great mission of helping people in undeserved communities to grow their skills and create job opportunities. As one their former Fast Runners I am extremely grateful of having their consultation and support by my side. Bpeace is a life changing organization.
I welcome the opportunity to be part of an organization led by a talented team and supported by dedicated members who all strive to increase community capacity and stability. Investing knowledge and skills to empower others is the stepping stone for growth and change--making a difference in the lives of others and the world around us.
Bpeace is an extraordinary organization. For context, I've had the opportunity to lead projects for Bpeace HQ and a Salvadoran entrepreneur (i.e., "Fast Runner"), travel and consult over 20 Salvadoran and Guatemalan Fast Runners in person via workshops, create tools to simplify and advance Bpeace processes, participate in Pedal for Peace, and much more. I am always amazed by the passion from all involved, ranging from the Fast Runners to the Bpeace staff and board. The mission is palpable, and everyone rallies behind it to make an impact. There are so many ways to get involved, and I cannot recommend Bpeace enough for anyone looking to make a difference!
I've been a volunteer consultant for Bpeace for the past two years, working on a project for an entrepreneur (i.e., "Fast Runner") in El Salvador and a project for Bpeace HQ. Bpeace's mission around creating jobs to promote peace is extremely powerful, and everyone in the organization, including volunteers and Fast Runners, really rallies around that common goal. I've never been so proud to be part of an organization, and I'm continually impressed at the strides that Bpeace makes to foster its mission; nothing is ever static for the organization, and it continues to find new ways to drive impact for its Fast Runners.
BPeace has been wonderful to work with. The executive team, board of directors and executive council are nothing less than outstanding at there efforts.
In early 2015, I was feeling a little burned out. I've been involved in process improvement (Lean and Six Sigma) for 18 years and while the companies I've worked with appreciated the efforts and my contributions, I always felt that I could use my skills to help others more broadly. More by serendipity than by any active measure on my part, I discovered Bpeace and their mission to connect organizations with mentors. As I discussed the opportunities more with their program managers I realized that this was what I was looking for.
My trip to Guatemala to support my Fast Runner Organization was amazing. The planning and discussions done ahead of the trip helped me to prepare, analyze, and understand the real needs of the company. The BPeace staff member on the ground was friendly, helpful, and really help facilitate a strong start to the week. The people at the Fast Runner organization were so appreciative and willing to listen, adopt new thinking, and strive to become better. From the first moments I stepped out on to the shop floor and saw how hard everyone was working and the pride they took in their product, I knew that I had to provide them with the best roadmap to success that I could. These are good companies looking to be great companies and in doing so really help a region in need of higher wages, better services, more employment, lower crime, and an overall improvement in quality of life. The week ended with me feeling like one of the family and invested in the success of the organizational goals. I am both looking forward to seeing the success story that this team creates as well as helping future organizations accomplish the same.
Being part of Bpeace has giving our company, our staff and me personally an opportunity to grow and learn. I strongly believe being part of the BEBE (Bpeace Executive Business Exchange) program has made our company more profitable, more in tune with the markets needs and our people have become more productive. As a result from this program we have aligned as a company and as a leader I found a group of other Bpeace entrepreneurs who will be key to the growth of my company.
"The experience of working with Bpeace has allowed us to renew the vision of our company to achieve objectives of growth and job creation that we never knew we could achieve in the short and medium term. Everyone involved with the project from the board of Bpeace to the various volunteer professionals with whom we worked have provided invaluable support and world class mentoring. Thanks Bpeace! "
One of the best instrumental organizations to facilitate transfer of resources and expertise to developing countries. Bpeace.org model of creating more jobs means better peace is quite practical. I and our team at Digitalpedia.ca are proud supporters of Bpeace.org.
We highly recommend them.
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I had the opportunity to serve as a summer intern and had an incredible experience with the organization. Bpeace is run efficiently by a dedicated and intelligent team that is well-versed in the work they do. The experiences of the members, Fast Runners, and mentors attest to the impact that this organization makes. Its unique strategy to creating peace, efficient fundraising plans, and strong network of business professionals all contribute to the success of Bpeace. I am honored to have had the chance to work with such an outstanding team and organization.
As the owner of a small change and turnaround consultancy with 25 years of professional experience --- I first became involved as a traveling mentor to businesses in El Salvador and have since had the opportunity to return to El Salvador and Guatemala with Bpeace 2 more times as a mentor and also as a judge for a State Department Fellowship program that Bpeace administered. In the US, from my home in New York, I have also had the opportunity to match SMEs in the Bpeace / State program with US host companies and help them to build out learning agendas that positioned the 'Fast Runners' in Bpeace lingo for growth and improved profitability. Engaging with Bpeace has been very rewarding for me personally, not only for the work that I have done with dozens of SMEs in Central America and the relationships I have developed with their owners but also the relationships I have developed with the Bpeace staff and other volunteers. Importantly, Bpeace actively solicits input from its volunteers in the strategy of the organization itself which leads to a richer more meaningful experience. Sometimes as a volunteer one can feel just like free labor and this doesn't happen at all when engaging with Bpeace - your input is well received and considered.
I am so proud to be celebrating my second year with Bpeace as mentor.
To use a quote from my latest Fast-runner,
" I was expecting to receive some help from Bpeace when I became involved. But now, after connecting with people from New York and you came to visit. I feel like I'm living a dream. My imagination could not even touch the reality of my happiness." May 2015, Guatemala.
What more could I possibly write.
I am so proud to play a small part in helping move forward the meaningful efforts of Bpeace, both by serving on the Executive Council and as a traveling mentor in El Salvador. We are put on this earth to help others, and Bpeace is a great way to do so in a way that perfectly mirrors the mantra "think global, act local." The core Bpeace mission is to help create "more jobs, less violence" in countries emerging from periods of upheaval and turmoil, with a focus on Central America, and it is precisely economic opportunity that is needed to drive long-lasting change. Bpeace identifies local entrepreneurs and small businesses, dubbed "Fast Runners," who receive training and mentors from the US to help fast track their growth, including virtual mentorships via technology, in person visits by mentors to their home countries, and trips to the US to visit companies in the same industries.
Through Bpeace I had the extraordinary opportunity to travel to El Salvador to address hundreds of women entrepreneurs at a business conference and to meet with small groups of small business owners working with Bpeace. I also hosted small groups of Fast Runners during their visits to my home city of New York. Each facet of the experience was a joy.
I am a firm believer in business as a force for good -- whether a Fortune 500 multinational or an individual entrepreneur in a small community. When business flourishes and economic opportunity exists, the entire community benefits and the perpetrators of violence lose their power. It does not get more simple than "more jobs, less violence."
Great bunch of people and a great vision "jobs and economic stability"= "peace and cultural growth".
I was so happy to find a charity that was happy for me to help them virtually in a meaningful way and not just by sending money. So many other charities just want you to do social media work or are very unorganized. This is not the case with BPeace and I am so happy that I have been able to make a difference from the first week I signed up. I love giving back and as I have traveled to many third world countries I know what a difference we can make.
Working with BPeace in El Salvador has opened new opportunities personally and professionally. As a volunteer with other organizations I have found the BPeace experience extremely well organized and production. The companies we have mentored have continued to maintain contact to build on the initial experience. Look forward to seeing their products and companies grow and flourish in new markets.
Volunteering for Bpeace and working pro bono in El Salvador was one of the hardest decisions of my life having been in the cooperate world for 30 years. The reality was that it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The commitment of the Bpeace people both on the ground and behind the scenes is amazing as is their choice of the fast runner companies that they seek to help. The desire for knowledge and willingness to accept ideas of the small bakery that I worked with was truly humbling. Bpeace is an inspirational organization and long may it continue to help worthy causes.
I joined Bpeace because I truly believe in the mission - the path to peace must be lined with jobs and opportunities - and over the past year I have discovered that Bpeace is truly delivering. Working with Bpeace has been a fascinating, heart warming and inspiring experience. It has been my honor to tell the stories of several real Afghani heroes. Their work ranges from building a ski and tourism industry, creating films that tell the unheard stories of Afghani women, implementing critical education programs, building businesses and creating jobs for Afghani women. These Bpeace fast runners unfailing offer fresh and valuable insights into their world and are at the heart of rebuilding their communities and creating enduring social change. They are a great investment – as is Bpeace!
Bpeace is an incredible organization that is passionate about its mission and thoughtful about how to make the best impact. While their leadership is lean, they run the organization like a Fortune 500 company in the way they set goals, create their strategy, and launch initiatives. Their network of volunteers is dedicated to the cause, and Bpeace has made a serious impact in the 10+ years it has been around. The best part is that while making an impact, the work is extremely rewarding for its volunteers. I was able to participate in pro-bono consulting for an entrepreneur in El Salvador, and the experience has been one my most positive professional experiences to date. I look forward to continuing to be involved with Bpeace, and I can't wait to be a part of the continued successes.
I have been a member of Bpeace for five years now and have loved every minute of it. I was able to adjust my level of engagement to match my schedule- the more time I had the more involved I could be. Bpeace's model of creating peace in post-conflict countries by creating more jobs is very powerful and proven to be effective. It takes the time to throughly investigate countries before it begins working there to ensure Bpeace's model will be a good fit for that country and will be able to make an impact. Since beginning as a volunteer in 2009, I am now a member of the Young Professionals Leadership Council and Executive Council- there are a number of roles to be played at this organization and they are always happy to help you find just the right fit. I can't recommend this organization enough. Their mission, their methods, and the people that work there all receive five stars.
Bpeace does fantastic work. I have contributed pro bono time to BPeace to support both an El Salvadorian entrepreneur and BPeace HQ. I am impressed with the level of impact that the organization is able to have with limited resources.
Bpeace is one of my favorite organizations. I really like their model of helping people through economic empowerment. Their members take an active interest in teaching and supporting entrepreneurs who want to bring peace and prosperity to their countries. I have met several groups of "fast runners" - people who have what it takes to make a difference and are being given an opportunity and the support they need to succeed. Not only did I get great satisfaction from being able to help in some small way, but the "fast runners" also taught me about their cultures and inspired me with their courage and perseverance.
After 911 I wanted to do something positive to create a peaceful future. One day, I heard a colleague saying she was woking with a group that was working in Afghanistan. I went to a meeting, joined and never looked back. What a great group of people with a great program! Not only do I love getting to know and working with the American orgainzers and volunteers, I've also met most of the Afghan women who the program helps. I've watched their businesses grow and their lives change. I believe in the program and I've seen the results. Knowing the people who are doing the work and also the people who are receiving the help gives me confidence that my support is really making a difference. The bpeace volunteers that I've met are all knowledgeable and dedicated. Their expertise combined with their enthusiasm gives me confidence in the program. The women I've met from Afghanistan are also very impressive. These women are educated, but they still need help in learning modern business practices. Their gratitude for our assistance is matched by their excitement and inspiration to make their country economically independent and peaceful. I feel especially good about helping people in areas that have suffered from war because rebuilding is very important to preventing future conflict.
I volunteered on the Young Professional committee and was simultaneously able to help an amazing cause and gain valuable professional experience. I helped host Rwandan fast runner entrepreneurs on a visit to NYC, I planned events with 20 to 400 guests, fund-raised from individual and corporate donors, and researched new countries for Bpeace expansion. Through this work, I was connected to many other volunteer professionals in all stages of their careers who were happy to help out fellow volunteers with career connections and advice.
It has been a pleasure to work with the team at Bpeace as well as other volunteers and those that are learning and improving their entrepreneurial skills in developing countries. I am impressed by the dedication of the team at Bpeace toward trying to help empower the entrepreneurs and help them improve and grow their businesses so that they eventually become self-sustainable. As a volunteer at Bpeace, I have learned a tremendous amount and continue to do so.
I have had a great experience volunteering with Business Council for Peace. My peer volunteers all have diverse professional and cultural background, so I have learned a lot from my volunteering experience. Overall, as an Afghan American, I have not seen many Afghans take the initiative of helping women entrepreneurs like the volunteers and management of BPeace. I would highly recommend working with this organization.
Bpeace connects people across the globe with dignity and positivity. It has been an honor to be part of their community for over 5 years and to meet the inspiring Fast Runners from around the globe and impressive volunteers from across the US.
I can't say enough about how impressed I am by BPeace. It is incredibly effective in achieving its mission of supporting entrepreneurs and creating job growth in conflict affected countries. I believe that focusing on job creation is key to creating a lasting impact in these communities, so the mission is one that I'm 100% sold on. The dedication and commitment of the management team (Toni, Marla, Lauren, etc.) inspires a great deal of confidence in the organization and its direction. From a personal perspective, I feel that my efforts as a volunteer are impactful since I see the results firsthand in the entrepreneurs I work with. I highly recommend BPeace to anyone looking to make a real difference to the people who most need it.
For nearly a decade I have been involved with Bpeace. I am constantly amazed by the accomplishments of this volunteer based organization. By combining the talents and resources of its members, Bpeace has created an incredibly successful mentor program that reaches out to entrepreneurs in regions of conflict or post conflict and stimulates their growth - not through micro finance or loans, but by rolling up sleeves and offering guidance, support and mentoring geared to foster employment and growth. The results are staggering -
I have been volunteering with Bpeace for 7 years and during that time I have been blown away by the accomplishments achieved by the Bpeace members along with the men and women entrepreneurs in Boeace programs. This organization continually inspires as they help make more jobs in post conflict countries.
Bpeace does extraordinary work mentoring entrepreneurs in post conflict countries to help create jobs for others. In Afghanistan, Rwanda and El Salvador, Bpeace is helping women grow their businesses and create new jobs. As an all volunteer organization, Bpeace members are passionate and personally involved in the work. There is no other organization like this one!
I have volunteered with Bpeace for the past 7 years and year after year I get back more than I give. I get to work with some of the brightest, most talented people I've ever worked with, who are here for one reason- to contribute to the greater good. I have traveled with Bpeace to Afghanistan, served as a mentor, coached their staff and worked on several Bpeace initiatives. I have had the privilege to witness the direct impact our work has on the lives of entrepreneurs and their businesses and the profound ripple effect it has on the broader society. I am proud to be a member of Bpeace and hope to continue to contribute.
Thank you Bpeace and a special thank you to Toni!
Bpeace is an extremely well organized and impactful organization. I have been continually impressed with the quality of the staff, selection of participates and results of their combined efforts.
I have been a member since 2005 and was inspired to help found their Young Professionals Committee. The enthusiasm among young professionals has been incredible. Bpeace is pioneering a model in which business professionals can volunteer their skills to help entrepreneurs in conflict-affected countries. The result is more jobs, and a reduced incentive locally to fight. Making a difference in an entrepreneur's business can be life-changing for the person volunteering, the entrepreneur, and even their employees. We make a strong impact, and I am now a proud Board Member.
I have been a Bpeace member and volunteer since 2008 and it has been such a rewarding experience. My work has primarily been with the Young Professionals group which I helped run for a couple years, recruiting and engaging younger members.
What I love most about Bpeace is that I can use my business expertise to help the organization and entrepreneurs around the world. As a young professional I was able to execute high level, impactful projects that I might not have experienced for years in my career. And through hosting entrepreneurs in the US, I was able to interact directly with the people we were helping in an intimate and meaningful way.
Bpeace's mission of job creation for peace is one that resonates around the world and I am proud to be a part of such a worthy cause.
After a strong volunteering background throughout highscool and college, I entered the "real world" hopeful to find an organization that I could volunteer in which I could actually make a difference. After the standard arts & crafts with under-priveleged children and city park clean-ups and attending numerous fundraising events, I was feeling less than inspired! When I discovered Bpeace I realized I could not only make an impact half way around the world but I was also being exposed to a network of amazing businessmen and women spanning industries and broadening my professional horizons. Working with Bpeace you can find that perfect niche for your specific strengths and commitment level and develop business skills that as a young professional I might not have otherwise had access to for years to come in my full-time career. Bpeace is doing great and effective work in countries affected by conflict and I truly believe in their mission, that creating and sustaining jobs leads to less violence.
I have been volunteering with Bpeace for four years now and have witnessed its impact on women entrepreneurs it works with. I have been an active volunteer, that is I have worked with entrepreneurs directly, mostly in Afghanistan. Very rewarding experience, it expands your knowledge of cultures, entrepreneurship, it is intellectually stimulating since resources and tools that are readily available here in US are not in countries we operate, so you need to be creative, and finally emotionally very fulfilling when you realize by just sharing your knowledge and know how you made a difference in lives of not just those you worked with directly but indirectly (as the company grows and jobs created) in the community the business operates. You can do all of this from your office (as a host or as a mentor via skype) or when the opportunity comes, be a traveling mentor. Try it and you will never want to do anything else!
Bpeace has a great philosophy to bringing sustainable peace to war torn countries: build local's business capacity and skills, help them be successful in their business of choice. This is accomplished by providing onsite (local to the country) business classes, providing laptops and essential business tools like Intuit Quickbooks, short internships in US based companies that resemble theirs, and matching them with US advocates that help them connect with the right people in US.
It is always go to hear that there are successes. The team moves ahead one client at a time with very directed money and assistance. I remember watching the movie, "Where's my goat?". The Canadian film maker was trying to track down the specific goat he purchased through Plan International for a family in Gambia. After some considerable effort, he did track his money through their ledgers and visited the family who received his goat.
In the film he had a discussion with young professionals in Gambia regarding the goat program. The Gambians pooh poohed the program as too little and ineffective to the country as a whole. The filmmaker countered with the argument that each goat made a very significant difference to the receiving family. They had cash income from the milk, etc that helped fund their child's school fees. I convinced my kids to forego big Christmas presents and we bought a herd of 12 goats. I have been trying to find my goats
My point is that you are not splashing money around in a way that invites corruption and graft. The process Bpeace follows insures that viable candidates are assisted (and possibly funded) with extended hand holding. You do not just put a filter on the phonebook and fund everyone who come out of the filter.
I am quite pleased to be part of your resource pool.
I'm so inspired by Bpeace. I've seen a lot of nonprofits in my day, and Bpeace is leagues ahead in terms of its vision, execution and impact. The leadership is bold and inventive, the volunteers are so organized and committed, and the results, well, they speak for themselves. I've had the great pleasure of working with Bpeace for three years now through an entrepreneurial venture in Rwanda. Bpeace helped us get it off the ground and continues to be a tremendous source of support. I'm deeply grateful for the work they do in Rwanda and across the globe to help ALL OF US live in a peaceful, prosperous world.
I'm ending my incredible 2.5 years as a Bpeace staff member, though I won't stray far from this organization. The Bpeace community is like a family.
Our Afghan entrepreneurs are smart, engaged and intelligent. I have learned so much from their deep passion and commitment to their businesses. I stand in awe of them every day--they surmount incomprensible obstacles. They are all hungry for knowledge and support and handle themselves professionally as they learn from our members, staff, and each other.
Bpeace members/volunteers are unstoppable. Many lead their own businesses or work at some of the most prestigious companies in the U.S., yet they make time to work one on one with our entrepreneurs to teach them best practices and transfer the skills and knowledge they worked so hard to attain. Bpeace members are generous with their time and understand how to articulate their knowledge and share it in order to make a real impact.
I may be biased, but the staff at Bpeace is stellar. Toni and Marla both have long, varied careers that inform how they manage Bpeace. The organization is run like a business--efficient, effective, and proven. They are honest and communicative and it has been my pleasure to work with them.
I am looking forward to my changing role at Bpeace as I go from staff to a member/volunteer. I am eager to stay involved in this community as it continues to evolve.
This past August I had a great opportunity to volunteer for a Bpeace research project in Rwanda. It was an amazing experience and the Bpeace team couldn't have been more helpful during/after the project. The commitment Bpeace shows to its Fast Runners is undeniable. I hope to volunteer with Bpeace again to help in its efforts of creating jobs and making an impact
I had a great experience as a volunteer with Bpeace. I went on a research mission to Rwanda and the team was extremely helpful and committed to arranging the trip. They were always quick to respond and lovely to work with. They have a great track record of creating jobs in countries recovering from conflict and their work really makes an impact.
I was trolling VolunteerMatch.org one day a few years ago, something I do ever so often to get a sense of what kinds of volunteering opportunities organizations are promoting, which organizations seem to be using it best, etc. And a posting by Bpeace got my attention. Bpeace was looking for someone to help them find funeral home managers who might mentor a funeral home director in Rwanda. I was completely intrigued by the posting - it's just NOT a volunteer posting you see posted every day. I went to the Bpeace web site and read more, and I became even more intrigued - as a researcher regarding volunteerism, particularly online volunteering, Bpeace looked like a model organization that I should know more about.
Because of my experience in Afghanistan and passion for empowering women, I decided to support Bpeace in some way. At first I was just going to promote them on my blog - but then I decided to volunteer formally, and to become a coach for a "fast runner" (an entrepreneur) in Afghanistan. Bpeace asks volunteers to pay a membership fee (something the Girl Scouts and many other organizations do as well). So, I joined, and I mentored a gentleman who was trying to expand a cleaning business in Kabul, and wanting to better cater to foreigners living in the country. I wrote about that experience here:
It's not for entirely philanthropic reasons that I volunteer with Bpeace; if I'm going to remain an expert and trainer in volunteer management, I have to be a practitioner as well. I really intended to stay with Bpeace just for one year - and here it is, four years later. This experience has served me VERY well professionally, and when I'm train, I'm able to use experiences with Bpeace to illustrate various models of volunteer engagement (corporate volunteering, online volunteering, skills-based volunteering, pro bono consulting, etc.).
I come from the other end of the equation- representing Inzozi Nziza (sweet dreams)/ Blue Marble Dreams, a Rwanda based ice creamery and coffee shop run by a cooperative of women drummers. We received much needed assistance from BPeace. I can't speak highly enough of this group! We are establishing a long-term business, which is new to us, and need guidance and capacity building in small business development. Over the last two years, we have received much needed training over telephone, email and in person from creative, dynamic and dedicated people. In the most recent BPeace visit, a very talented accountant was able to help us to understand concepts in a few hours what we struggled with for months! We can't speak highly enough of BPeace and are so thankful for our continued relationship.
This is a terrific organization really making a difference in the lives of poor women in war-torn countries. The organization is run by business women and professionals in a very businesslike and professional, and efficient, way, and the help provided to individual women is leveraged many times in that the women start and then expand their businesses, thereby expanding employment.
What could be better than joining an organization filled with impassioned women and men that are joined together by a common thread - their love of helping individuals grow their businesses and create jobs? Bpeace, a nonprofit that I joined five years ago, specifically focuses on helping women entrepreneurs (and a growing number of men) significantly grow their businesses in Afghanistan, Rwanda and a soon-to-be named third country. We roll up our sleeves, and get our hands dirty. We learn about the world and have a direct and positive impact in our associates'(the individuals we train/support) lives and their communities. Additionally, we get to know each other and form lasting bonds of friendship and networking. I could go on and on, but Bpeace is an extremely unique and remarkable organization that is appropriate for young individuals all the way up to senior citizens. Bpeace also provides a valuable service. Entrepreneurs in regions of post-conflict lack support in which to run their businesses. We step in to help at a critical juncture and the funds we raise go directly to help such programs. A donor never had to wonder if their funds are getting caught up in bureaucratic red-tape.
After a career in Municipal Finance, I decided to stay home when my children were born. But I had a lot of energy, and, I felt, skills that could be helpful in "problem-solving". Thus began a commitment to various non-profit organizations. After 15 years in many volunteer roles, a friend encouraged me to investigate volunteer opportunities with Bpeace. Her reasoning was, "You have done so much for organizations here at home, now it's time for you to expand, go global!" She brought me to a Bpeace meeting in March,2005. Several Bpeace volunteers had just returned from a trip to Kabul, Afghanistan. One of the women was a photographer who showed slides that captured life in newly-liberated Kabul. The smiles of hope on the Afghan men, women and children captured me. Bpeace was supporting women who created beautiful handcrafts. These women employed other women and the network of family members who relied on their incomes was expansive. Sometimes these women sat around a small living room,working under kerosene lamps and ironing their finished pieces with old-fashioned irons heated with a bunsen burner. In 2006, some of these "Bpeace Associates" came to the US to attend workshops at the Fashion Institute in New York. Meeting these remarkable women, many who had educated themselves in the refugee camps of Pakistan, convinced me that I wanted to commit myself to Bpeace's mission of helping the women of Afghanistan - and Rwanda where there are similar groups of strong women entrepreneurs. The assistance that Bpeace provides is direct and effectively impacts the business development of Bpeace Associates. In 2007, Bpeace expanded their group of enterepreneurs beyond handcrafts to such enterprises as food processing, commercial printing and soccer ball manufacturing. In 2009, the net grew to include men. I am proud to be a small part of such an intelligent, talented group of business women and men who know how to help these entrepreneurs and who are commited to their success.
Although a skeptic of many NGOs, when a colleague introduced me to Bpeace in 2005, I instantly knew they were making a difference. A volunteer-run organization, Bpeace empowers people in countries of conflict and post-conflict to provide for themselves, their families, and to build their communities. Bpeace doesn't make handouts or teach in a one-way fashion. Rather, Bpeace is an exchange of business people helping business people, and fosters learning about breaking down barriers in an increasingly global world. We believe business, job creation, vocational training, and access to resources are essential ingredients to fostering stability and peace.
One of the best non-profits I have ever worked with! I can't say enough about the organization and my fellow volunteers. The organization is made up dedicated professionals who selflessly give their time and expertise to making this world a better place. I am honored to be part of this organization!
Can-do! Bpeace is a can-do group of people, pooling their experiences, networks and resources together, to share with others. Positive and upbeat. They just do it! Members are very involved with projects that interest them- and Bpeace staff helps enable members to achieve their goals. Bpeace is constantly setting new project goals for the organization to work toward. Bpeace achieves and exceeds expectations each time. Great organization, great energy, connecting expereinces- making a difference and making the world smaller!
Bpeace is a phenomenal organization! I first learned of Bpeace at a conference at the UN and was so inspired by their work that I had to join immediately. Bpeace has a group of motivating and fearless leaders that are passionate about changing the world. How can you not want to be a part of that! By creating more jobs and opportunities, we are creating peace.
I've been an active member of Bpeace since February of 2009. The Bpeace mission - more jobs mean less violence - and its approach really resonate with me. By providing long term business services to women (and now men!) in post conflict countries, you not only help the individual entrepreneurs, but also their families and communities, by creating more jobs and opportunities for a peaceful future. The network of volunteers I have met are such a dynamic and dedicated group, I thoroughly enjoy working with them!
Bpeace is the most well-run organization I have ever volunteered for. It is due not only to the incredible leadership but also the dedicated and talented volunteers who are professionals in their own industries. This shows in Bpeace's ability to have such a positive impact on the women entreprenuers that benefit from Bpeace's services. I highly recomend Bpeace as an organization to get involved with if you want to make a difference for women entreprenuers in post-conflict countries.
I joined Bpeace in April 09 and have worked directly on their Race to Innovation project in Afghanistan and Rwanda, am an advocate in direct communication with an amazing entrepreneur in Afghanistan, did customer service training for a collaborative project to open the first ice cream store in Rwanda, hosted a group of Rwandan businesswomen in Pa for a week in 2011. The CEO of Bpeace has been an inspiration and I have learned a tremendous amount from her. I do believe that more jobs mean less violence. Members are encouraged to experience their philanthropy, and I have appreciated the direct connection to where my money goes.
It was overwhelmingly inspiring to visit and work with women in Rwanda who have experienced so much loss, pain and hardship. We were there to help them with business issues and they gave us more hope and inspiration than imaginable. These entrepreneurs want to strengthen their capabilities and move forward. We assisted in that goal by our training seminars, our ability to convey our experience and learned lessons in business and by our networking skills and global connections.
As a Bpeace volunteer for over 4 years, I have traveled to Afghanistan to mentor women in the Bpeace program, select new businesswomen for the program and assist with the classes. I attend meetings via conference call on a regular basis.