Welcome to Volunteer Action for Peace!
Volunteer Action for Peace (VAP) is a UK based charity organisation which works towards creating and preserving international peace, justice and human solidarity for people and their communities. Through a range of working projects both in the United Kingdom and around the world, VAP provides volunteers with opportunities to work together with people from around the globe and in partnership with local groups to enhance and empower communities.
VAP currently operates through a network of partner organisations in more than 80 countries worldwide, meaning that you can combine taking part in a rewarding voluntary project and an exciting cultural exchange with your travel experience of a lifetime!
You can select a project from our range of short term Workcamp opportunities (2-4 weeks), Medium Term Volunteering (2-6 months) and Long Term Volunteering (6+ months) or as an EVS volunteer on a fully funded scheme.
So, if you’re looking for a life-changing experience; are interested in volunteering; are taking a gap year or would like to learn new skills then look no further!
Photo : Helen Bull / KVDA Kenya
World Heritage Volunteering
We in VAP have long had a special relationship with UNESCO through the Co-ordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service. UNESCO’s most visible action is the listing and preservation of the world’s heritage – and “World Heritage Volunteers” are playing a big role in helping. The list grows longer every year and includes famous buildings from the Tower of London to the Taj Mahal as well as important environmental sites such as the Victoria Falls and Lake Baikal. You can work on any of these projects through VAP.
If you select the option "Heritage protection" (HERI) on the Type of Work dropdown menu of our database, you will find many of these projects. If there’s a project you don’t find send us an email.
Here are some examples of projects where you can volunteer:
The Tombs of the Kings of Buganda (9-30 September);
Rwenzori Mountains (5-26 August);
Bwindi Mountain Gorillas (8-29 July).
Borobudur Temple (27 August - 9 Sept. or Ongoing project all year);
Prambanan Temple (15-30 August).
Koutammakou Villages in the North (14-31 July).
St Petersburg and Country Estates (18-29 July);
Solovetsky Islands (19 July-3 August).
Historic City of Sucre (18-30 August)
Sacred Forests on the Coast (9-30 July);
Maasai Mara Conservation, culture and wildlife (5-26 July).
Mount Sanqingshan (6-22 July);
Temple and Cemetery of Confucius (20 July-5 August);
Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System (6 July-5 August)
Hampi, Karnataka (13-26 June);
Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu (11-24 July).
Kathmandu Valley (17-29 September);
Vajrayogini and early settlement of Sankhu (5-17 November).
Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes (14-27 July);
Namhansanseong, Forgotten Fortress (5-14 August).
Ancient Town of Hoi. Stay in Triem Tay eco-village (11-22 July).
Cathedral and the Archaeological Site of Zvartnots (14-26 July).
Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes (15 August-2 Sept.)
posted on: 26 April 2016
News from VAP meet-up and info day with guest speakers from Crossroads
- 50% of women asylum seekers are survivors of rape
- 70% of women in detention are rape survivors
- 88% of rape survivors are disbelieved by Home Office officials when they first claim asylum. Half of those Home Office decisions are overturned by a judge on appeal.
Last Friday on 22 April, VAP supporters old and new gathered for a meet-up event in central London, along with guest speakers invited from the Crossroads Women’s Centre. We heard from their Women of Colour and All-Africa Women’s groups on their current advisory and support work with female refugees and asylum seekers. Some of the experiences that these women have faced are truly shocking – for instance, we learned about lesbian women from Uganda who are forced back to a country where their lives are at risk just because of their sexual orientation, and about the Yarl’s Wood removal centre where women and children continue to be held in completely inadequate conditions. Concerns have even be raised about abuse and rape allegations there. This is particularly shameful considering that many of the detainees are already survivors of rape and other violence.
The programme for the evening continued with VAP member Gabrielle Messeder sharing her reflections on volunteering and meeting people at the "Jungle" camp in Calais earlier this year. This led into discussion of the recent Refugee Rights report on human rights abuses at the camp – perhaps the most disturbing example is the police violence that 86% of those surveyed reported. Two other VAP members also reported on their discussions with people living in tents and other makeshift housing at the port in Athens. Again, these include women and families as well as men who are already escaping awful situations including war, only to find themselves abandoned and destitute in Europe as well, or facing deportation.
VAP believes that it is crucial to continue raising awareness about these abuses and the poor treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in many different countries. These are human beings who have already suffered hugely – so it is an absolute scandal that they are treated so horrifically in the countries where they are seeking refuge and peace. The Crossroads groups also organise school visits and other public education events to draw attention to these issues, and VAP will be keeping in touch so that we can share resources and prepare our workshops on migration and human rights for this year’s UK workcamps.
For more information on the Crossroads All African Women’s group supporting refugees and asylum seekers, please see www.facebook.com/AllAfricanWomen.
And don’t forget the day of action on detention on 7 May – details coming soon!
posted on: 24 April 2016
VAP’s 2015 Annual Get Together
We are organising our Annual Get Together, on Friday 2 October at 6:30 pm, for all returning or soon-to-be VAP volunteers to meet up with like-minded people, discuss interesting topics, get ideas for your next volunteering adventure, or just find out more about what VAP does if you’re still considering getting involved.
As well as providing the chance to share experiences and ideas informally, the programme for the event will include:
• A presentation on the Migration Museum Project – a project aiming to open the UK’s first specialised museum with a positive approach to the theme of migration.
• A presentation by Better World Cameroon – a VAP partner organisation focused on sustainable agriculture and cross-cultural education.
• An overview of the “Raising Peace” campaign – an initiative organised by the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service to ensure that peace and human rights remain at the heart of the volunteering projects that organisations like VAP are involved in.
• News from VAP’s latest orientation weekend for volunteers and camp coordinators, including a short video made by a former volunteer.
• A screening of the short anti-militarist film “The Unseen March”, followed by discussion.
We’ll also be holding our Annual General Meeting – a chance for you to find out exactly what VAP has been up to this year and have your say in where we’re headed next.
The event will once again be held at The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EL. It’s a one-minute walk from Farringdon station, on the Metropolitan, Circle, Hammersmith and City and Thameslink lines.
See you there!
posted on: 24 September 2015
No More Deaths in the Mediterranean Sea!
VAP is joining our voice to thousands of volunteers represented by a long list of international voluntary service organisations in protest against the silence of European governments in face of the catastrophe happening right now in the Mediterranean sea.
posted on: 4 May 2015