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March 10, 2009


Peace Corps: Places over 7,000 volunteers a year. Commitments are for two years, though it is possible to extend them. Check out their comprehensive web site for more details:

MBA Enterprise: The Peace Corps for the MBA crowd. Places recent MBA grads in positions to act as management and business consultants. Currently heavily focused in central Asia and Eastern Europe. Check out the site for more information on postings, qualifications, and how to apply:

Cross Cultural Solutions: The "mini peace corps," operating in 10 different countries. Volunteer opportunities are short term only (usually 3 weeks) and can be a good way to get your feet wet and see if development work is really for you. Visit the well-organized web site:

American Friends Service Committee: The Quakers. Has a handful of domestic as well as global (mostly Latin America) opportunities.

Earth Watch: Organizes "expeditions" where participants get involved in local development and environment issues. Not exactly volunteering, but a fascinating way to see development and conservation in action up close. Warning -- expensive!

Volunteer Travel: Small outfit offering "vacation" type volunteer programs in 11 countries.

Global Services Corps: Operates in Thailand and Tanzania. Volunteers generally stay with a local family. Short-term volunteer programs run year round in health, environment and education.

Global Volunteers: Offers short-term (up to three weeks) placements in 19 different countries.

Use these web sites and directories devoted to volunteering and finding work in the non-profit sector: -- CIEE (Center for International Education Exchange): Offers numerous volunteer opportunities (over 800 at last check) along with study and travel programs. Their web site is one of the most comprehensive, and has a "program finder" to help you narrow down the choices. Application information and fee information are also included. Use their web site, even if you aren't planning on volunteering with them (some of their programs can be pricey), to get a sense of the range of opportunities and organizations out there -- One of the premier resources for people interested in development, Idealist is an excellent job board and resource center. Focuses on both domestic and international development. -- Another great resource, with jobs, information, country-specific sites, news updates and more. Focus on news and happenings globally. Essential reading (sign up for their newsletter) for anyone interested in development and emerging economies. -- One of the largest directories on the web devoted to volunteer opportunities. Doesn't charge organizations to list, so manages to gather smaller organizations and co-ops that wouldn't be able to afford a paid directory. If you can't find it here, it probably doesn't exist. Also traveler information and travel resources.

www.cwis.rg -- Center for World Indigenous Studies. Focuses on the "Fourth World" (i.e. more desperate than the Third World). A good source of papers and facts.Also consider the excellent book: Alternatives to the Peace Corps, edited by Joan Powell, for more ideas.


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