About VAP


Our EC members and Staff

VAP is a democratically run association. Here are the current members of its Executive Committee and the paid Staff.

VAP is a democratically run association. Here are the current members of its Executive Committee and the paid Staff.

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What is VAP?

Volunteer Action for Peace (VAP) is a UK based charity organisation (No. 1126368) 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.

Volunteer Action for Peace (VAP) is a UK based charity organisation (No. 1126368) 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 summer Workcamp opportunities (2-4 weeks), Medium Term Volunteering (1-6 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!

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Vision

Volunteer Action for Peace believes in a society of peace, justice and human dignity and solidarity which shows responsible stewardship of the Earth’s biosphere.

Volunteer Action for Peace believes in a society of peace, justice and human dignity and solidarity which shows responsible stewardship of the Earth’s biosphere.

Our vision is shared and expressed through a network of partner organisations in the UK and in over 80 countries worldwide to affirm the fundamental causes of lasting peace and sustainable development.

We work towards human justice and peace through support of cultural, socio-economic and political freedom for all people and the preservation and conservation of natural ecosystems.

We believe in working through development education and intercultural learning and practical interventions through international voluntary service.

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Aims

The aim of VAP is a global humanity free of war, nationalist, sectarian, class and racial hatred, injustice and exclusion, where every individual is free to be themselves, as long as they do not infringe on the freedom of others.

Our aim is a society based on mutual toleration and understanding, humanism, co-operation and environmental sustainability.

To achieve our aim we have the following objectives (from our constitution):

"To promote peaceful relations within and between communities by providing opportunities for voluntary service in a spirit of international understanding without distinction of race, creed, age, gender or sexual orientation, within the United Kingdom and abroad, giving training advice and support to volunteers from the United Kingdom undertaking their service among communities suffering deprivation or marked by a particular cultural identity; the advancement of education, and in particular development education, through both formal and informal learning.

Voluntary service may include activities to develop interpersonal understanding between different social classes, races, cultures, religions and nationalities, alleviate poverty and ill health, relieve distress especially in the aftermath of conflict and natural disaster; strengthen the capacity of communities to fend for themselves, care for disadvantaged and handicapped children and adults, conserve cultural and environmental heritage, educate adults and children both generally, and specifically in the fields of health, development and intercultural learning."

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History

Volunteer Action for Peace has its roots in the volunteer peace movement which was born out of the tragedy of the First World War. Read more about VAP's history here.

Volunteer Action for Peace has its roots in the volunteer peace movement which was born out of the tragedy of the First World War. A French officer Lieutenant Etienne Bach of the forces then occupying Germany realised the need for reconciliation. He co-operated with the local mayor. The organisation he founded in 1923, known as Knights of the Lord of Peace, grew out of the early discussion and study groups he brought together. The founder branches were in Switzerland, Germany and France. After the death of Bach in 1938 the movement was led by a Swiss, Gertrude Kurz until her death in 1972.

In 1947 the movement was reorganised and became Christian Movement for Peace (CMP). In 1953 CMP organised its first “workcamp” (an international group of volunteers working on a specific project). This became CMP’s main tool to create international understanding and community development. In 1974 CMP was able to establish a staffed international secretariat. The movement changed its name in 1994 to Youth Action for Peace (YAP) as many non-Christians were active including groups in predominantly Muslim countries.

The first activities of CMP in Britain were in the 1960s and the British branch ran a small programme of workcamps and exchanges with partner organisations and worked on issues of injustice and exclusion. After moving its base from London to Birmingham and then to Worthing, by the late 1990s there was a risk that activities would cease altogether.

In 2000 Cedric Medland returned home to the Isle of Wight after working for volunteer organisations in France and, together with his wife, Rocio Gonzalez-Medland, who had been doing the same work in Germany, set about reviving the organisation under the new name of YAP-UK. They reformed the organisation onto a normal footing with a constitution, membership and an Executive Committee including former CMP activists, principally Paul Winter who became Chairman and Nick Earle who became Treasurer. Cedric became Secretary.

In 2005 the secretariat moved to London to the home of the new Secretary, Nigel Watt. That year Nuno Doria joined us administering the exchanges and has now taken over the role of Secretary in 2007 with Nigel Watt becoming Treasurer and Cedric Medland Chairman. In 2007 we became Volunteer Action for Peace (VAP) because we invite all age groups as volunteers. VAP obtained charitable status in the UK in 2008.

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Membership

Volunteer Action for Peace is a membership based organisation open to all who share our aims.

Volunteer Action for Peace is a membership based organisation open to all who share our aims.

Membership means that you will receive information through a newsletter about the various VAP events that happen internationally and nationally. It also gives you the right to vote at our AGM and to participate in our activities in whatever way you can.

Most importantly, your membership helps VAP to continue its work - to work towards justice and peace. We are a small organisation and membership fees make a significant contribution towards the costs of running VAP. So even if you are not likely to be too active, you are welcome to join VAP.

The membership fee is currently £25 for waged, £10 for unwaged (e.g. students, unemployed)

To join, you have three options:

- You can do it through PayPal by clicking on the relevant button below:

- You can make a bank transfer to our account (please email us to receive our bank details).

- You can send a cheque made payable to "Volunteer Action for Peace" to:

VAP,
16 Overhill Road,
East Dulwich,
London
SE22 0PH, UK

Please include your name, address, phone number and e-mail address as our contact with members is done by e-mail.

There is no age limit preventing you joining VAP.

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member of:
Volunteer Action for Peace, member of the Co-ordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service Volunteer Action for Peace, member of the Volunteer International Network Exchange UK
with the support of:
Volunteer Action for Peace, member of the European «Youth in Action» Programme

Quote of the day

« I appreciate that constructive criticism may be more useful to you than praise but I honestly have no gripes that I could possibly mention. I can only thank you for the experience that I really enjoyed and will undoubtedly follow-up in the coming year. »

Peter H. from Glasgow

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