Government Sponsored Volunteer Programs

There are a variety of relatively well-funded, government sponsored volunteer programs sending individuals to the developing world. Unlike the placement agencies, these programs offer financial incentives to volunteers, often providing airfare, health insurance and living expenses in return for a 1 to 2 year commitment. The most well-known is the Peace Corps, which sends volunteers of all ages all over the world to complete humanitarian projects in developing countries. Search the latest Peace Corps opportunities on JobMonkey.

The Peace Corps and UN Volunteers generally seek mid-career, professional volunteers who bring a specific skill set or expertise to share with their host organization. The structure of the two programs is very different.

Peace Corps volunteers being assigned complete a specific project in one of the following areas:

  • Education
  • Youth Outreach and Community Development
  • Business Development
  • Environment
  • Agriculture
  • Health
  • HIV/AIDS, and
  • Information Technology

The goal is to bring necessary resources and training to people eager to learn new skills, as well as promote understanding between the world’s citizens.

The more than 7,000 volunteers in the United Nations’ UN Volunteers program mobilize within NGOs, governments and private sector organizations to “to foster and develop volunteerism and provide strategic advice on the role and contribution of volunteerism and the options for integrating citizens into development programs.” UN Volunteers also provides volunteers on short notice for “for peacekeeping and humanitarian projects and to help organize and run local and national elections.”

Note – Be sure to browse the federal government jobs section of JobMonkey for more information about internships, jobs, and volunteer opportunities.

Peace Brigades International (PBI) is an NGO focused on the protection of human rights and “nonviolent transformation of conflicts.” Volunteers live and work in teams, and aid international service organizations solve social problems.

While not officially government sponsored, this program has similar professional requirements to the Peace Corps and UN Volunteers, and offers similar benefits. Potential volunteers must be over 25, have professional experience with non-profits and be committed to peaceful methods of conflict resolution.

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