VAP News > 2011

2011 VAP’s Training for UK Project Coordinators

One of the possibilities of being active with VAP is by leading a project with us in the UK. For that reason we are writing you to invite you to attend VAP’s Training for UK Project Coordinators, which will take place at the Clow Beck Eco Centre, close to Darlington. The event will start at 7pm of Friday, June 10th and finish at about 1pm on Sunday 12th.

The training prepares volunteers in how to manage two weeks international volunteer projects, also known as “workcamps”, that are organised in the UK by VAP each year, in cooperation with our local project partners. The participants learn how to prepare the project with the local community, organisation, hosting and sponsoring the project. This involves practical questions like accommodation, logistics and planning. They also learn the practical interpersonal skills of group dynamics, intercultural learning, motivation, collective decision making and active delegation.

The project co-ordinators share the daily life and work of the international volunteers for two weeks supported by the local community, the VAP staff and an assigned mentor to assist with problems.
The co-ordinators participate in the project for free and travel expenses to and from the project are paid by VAP. Co-ordinators who submit the completed written report are given the option of a free placement on a VAP project overseas with one of our European partners.
To help you having an idea on what sort of projects we are expecting you to lead, we will send to those attending the training, VAP’s provisional workcamp programme for 2011.

This year, the training team will mostly be composed of a group of returned VAP volunteers that have a large experience of projects of this type. One of them will be coming from Germany to facilitate a workshop about VAP’s UN Millennium Development Goals Toolkit, which is an educational tool developed last summer by two international volunteers who were hosted by VAP in the UK for 5 months.

In line with the United Nations “International Year of Volunteers +10”, this year’s UK Project Coordinators Training will share the premises with the participants of our traditional North-South Preparation weekend for VAP volunteers going to participate in projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

This is a free training, including board and lodging. The travel expenses are covered by the participants therefore we advise you to start booking your train/bus fares asap so that they can still be affordable.

If you see yourself taking this exciting opportunity, please send us an email with a brief introduction about yourself, your experience and your motivation (no CVs please) – the latest by May 30th.

posted on: 7 May 2011

Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Workcamps

It’s been a bit more than 3 weeks since the giant earthquake hit Japan on March 11th. Our partner organisation in Japan, NICE, has repeatedly expressed its appreciation for all the support received from all over the world and for the messages of encouragement. According to Kaizawa Shinichiro from NICE, the situation in the affected areas is still very hard and therefore the organisation has arranged for special volunteer projects in three different areas. Japanese volunteers are being recruited at the moment and many applications have been received already! The first group of volunteers started its activities last Monday.

NICE would like to include international volunteers as well, but due to the nature of the activities it is not possible to recruit too many for the moment. In later stages it is foreseen that more and more international volunteers are needed for rehabilitation work which will probably take at least ten years. In Rukuzen-Takada for example, where almost the entire city was destroyed, NICE will start recruiting international volunteers in mid-April.

NICE believes that this disaster can bring the opportunity to reconsider and redesign life, society and the economy of their country and even of the whole modern world civilization, with special emphasis on the energy issue. What happened in Japan was of course a terrible disaster, however it is possible to learn from this experience to improve the world, as much as possible!

If you are interested to apply for the earthquake/tsunami relief workcamps in Japan please contact VAP by email.

posted on: 7 April 2011

2011 VAP Spring News

After a long harsh winter, milder winds and bluer skies are finally gracing the shores of our little island. As the first buds begin to show, VAP’s online database is also growing with wonderful opportunities and stimulating projects for 2011. Soon there will be almost 2000 projects all over the world with new and long established partner organisations. So stop looking at facebook and start browsing our database.

This year, VAP has decided to combine its Co-ordinator Training and North South Training on 10-12 June at the beautiful location of the Clow Beck Eco Centre in North Yorkshire. Although at the same time and in the same place, the trainings will be conducted seperately during working hours. The Co-ordinator Training concentrates on developing skills and the confidence of participants, with the opportunity to lead a workcamp during the coming summer. The North South Training provides a non formal education in volunteering outside of Europe, helping you adapt more easily to places where life may be a little different. Our expanding VAP training team, made up of previous volunteers, has years of experience and professional expertise, making this a fun and highly stimulating weekend. The event is also free, with accommodation provided and the food cooked between us, in the spirit of true volunteering, leaving participants to just pay for travel expenses. After the great demand and success of last year’s course, we recommend you book a limited place early!

VAP is also pleased to annouce that its UK hosting programme has expanded to include two new partners this summer. Groups of international volunteers will take part in workcamps at the Taraloka Centre in Cheshire and the Buddhafield Festival in Devon. As developing our volunteering programme in the UK is a core aim for VAP, we hope these new contacts will develop into long lasting partnerships.

2011 is also the United Nations ’International year of Volunteers +10’, so what better a time to get yourself involved and volunteer on a project yourself! VAP is a very springy charity who specialise in grass roots volunteering which won’t break your bank account. We have again voted to sustain our competitive fee of £150-£190 to cover administration and organisational costs. This leaves you with only travel expenses, and in some of the more remote locations, an affordable participation fee to be paid to the hosting organisation for their admin costs as well as to provide allowance for accommodation, food, tools etc. So get on it!

Did you know your government has made 8 promises to end world poverty? If you are not aware, don’t worry – you’re not alone! In the summer of 2010, VAP successfully hosted two European Voluntary Service volunteers in pricey old London, through funding from EU Youth in Action programme via the British Council. The resulting toolkit, which aims to raise awareness on the United Nations’ Millenieum Development Goals, far exceeded our expectations. We are now pleased to now offer this toolkit for free online here

For those interested, we are also a registered sending organisation for European Voluntary Service projects. These offer 6-12 months placements in Europe completely free, including food, accommodation and even a bit of pocket money! You must be aged between 18-30 to take part and the placement process can take at least 3 months.

The VAP squirrel, Nigel Watt, our treasurer and long standing human rights activist, has been very busy hoarding information this winter. A new publication called ’The Power of Action’ has been published by our global association the Co-ordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service. It details the history of human rights, CCIVS and the UN. For more details contact

We are also pleased to anounce that VAP is now an elected member of the Executive Committee of CCIVS and the VAP badger, Nuno Doria, our Programme Manager, was appointed to the new role of General Secretary.

Mellow regards from the VAP team

posted on: 25 March 2011

VAP’s Executive Commitee met in January 2011

On 22 January, the Executive Commitee of Volunteer Action for Peace gathered at Berkeley in Gloucestershire. The members came together to plan the year ahead, following a productive evaluation of 2010 - a year marked by the hosting of the first two EVS volunteers in London, the management of multiple workcamps in the UK, the development of a creative UN Millennium Development Goals Toolkit, new international partnerships and the active participation in the exciting International Congress of Voluntary Service which took place in Barcelona in early December.

In 2011, VAP’s initiatives will be in line with the International Year of Volunteers+10. As a first announcement, the VAP team is organising a joint weekend of activities, including the well-known North-South training and the UK Project Co-ordinator training, to be held in 10-12 June at the Clow Beck Centre, one of our project partners in the UK. More news will be posted soon!

posted on: 11 February 2011

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 can say that the best things about the workcamp and this whole experience were the chance of making a real difference to the lives of very needy children. This is an extremely valuable project where volunteers can have a massive impact. Also the possibility of learning a huge amount about a country so different from our own. I learnt ten times as much by carrying out a workcamp than I would ever do backpacking. »

Dominic K. from Slimbridge

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