What is Volunteers for International Partnership (VIP)?

A program of the participating members of Federation EIL, VIP offers individuals or pre-formed groups opportunities to do international community service in health, social services, environment and education.  Participants work with rural development projects, volunteer in health clinics, work with children, teach English – the volunteer opportunities are endless.

The mix of language immersion, homestays, and host project placements with local co-workers and international volunteers, makes VIP distinct among international service programs.

VIP partner organizations represent decades of national and international leadership in cultural exchange. The German UNESCO commission has recognized Volunteers for International Partnership as an official contributor to the realization of the Millennium Development Goals and the fostering of education for sustainable development.

Anyone 18 or older may apply, except US citizens who must be 19.

Where Can I Go?

VIP offers volunteer placements in 19 destinations:

  • The Americas:  Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, the US
  • Africa – Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria
  • Asia – China, India, Nepal, Thailand, Turkey
  • Europe – Albania, Ireland, Turkey

How Does It Work?

VIP’s goal is to serve the world community by building partnerships between willing volunteers and carefully selected host projects. VIP sending and receiving offices are non-profit organizations and programs are fully funded by participant fees.  Host project organizations are never asked to contribute to or absorb the direct costs associated with receiving a volunteer.

Experience – VIP National Directors work with community organizations, in-country agencies, local officials and host families to select volunteer placement opportunities. They know which projects will have maximum positive impact, respecting the dignity and long-term needs of everyone involved.

Shared Benefits – Each international volunteer has the opportunity to learn a culture from the inside while doing valuable community service in a stimulating new environment. Equally important are the benefits the host community derives from welcoming a Partnership Volunteer and from the skills and experiences brought by the international volunteer.

Host Families – VIP international service programs usually include a homestay with a local family as well as cultural orientation to prepare you for your stay. During your stay the language, customs, food and social life of your host family will be part of your daily life. This rich and rewarding part of the international service experience leads to lasting friendships and deep appreciation for the people and culture of your host country.

Host Projects – As a Partnership Volunteer you become part of a host organization project team. Many of your work partners will be local people. Because VIP draws its international volunteers from many countries, there may also be others, like yourself, who join the same project and bring their own unique cultural perspective.

Skilled and unskilled volunteers are welcome. You must be healthy and fit enough to adapt to living and working where conditions may be strenuous and where accommodations are basic. If you are applying to work with minors or others with special needs, professional certifications and/or background record checks may also be required.

Click here to find out more about Volunteers for International Partnership.