Australian Volunteers International Offers Opportunities for Australians at Home and Abroad

Thanks to intern Ceyhun Arslan for contributing this post. Ceyhun is researching service opportunities throughout the world open to non-U.S. citizens.

Australian Volunteers International recruits permanent residents of Australia who wish to volunteer overseas or in remote regions of Australia for a variety of projects.

Founded even before the U.S. Peace Corps and the British Volunteer Service Organisation, Australian Volunteers International (AVI) cooperates with local organizations overseas and within remote Australia, which request volunteers from AVI.

Short-listed applicants interview with an AVI representative. Participants can choose among 70 new programs in Asia, the Continue reading

Alan Khazei’s Tribute to Senator Ted Kennedy

A letter from Be The Change’s Alan Khazei in tribute to Senator Kennedy who passed away Tuesday. Sign the Condolence Book for the Kennedy family.

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Senator Kennedy at the Service America Act bill signing. Photo credits: Martin H. Simon-Pool/Getty ImagesOn behalf of ServiceNation, Be the Change and our extended community, I would like to express our profound sadness over the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, as well as our deep appreciation for his life’s contribution and our most heartfelt sympathy to his extraordinary family.

Senator Kennedy is the true godfather of the service movement. Without his tireless commitment, this movement as it thrives today never would have come about. He indelibly changed the fabric of America by not just inspiring, but personally enabling millions of citizens to give their time and skills to improve their communities and country. Through his visionary and bipartisan leadership in authoring the National and Community Service Act of 1990, the legislation that created AmeriCorps in 1993, and most recently with his good friend Senator Orrin Hatch, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009, he Continue reading

Edward M. Kennedy, 1932-2009

Ted Kennedy

Ted Kennedy

Tonight, Ted Kennedy died at home in Hyannis Port, MA.

The senator from Massachusetts, who’s been suffering from a cancerous brain tumor, was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.

He fought hard for national service — most recently on the the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act which was signed into law in April and which had been spearheaded by himself and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). That Act represents the largest expansion of national service since the start of AmeriCorps in 1993.

Read the Change/Wire tribute to Senator Kennedy, and sign their Condolence Book.

According to, the

“longtime Massachusetts senator was considered one of the most effective legislators of the past few decades. Kennedy, who became known as the ‘Lion of the Senate,’ played major roles in passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, Continue reading

New Director Aaron Williams Posts Video Greeting to Peace Corps Community

The newly sworn-in director of Peace Corps — RPCV Aaron Williams — issued this message on Youtube (transcript below):


This morning I was sworn in as the 18th Director of the Peace Corps. While preparing for this day, I decided that the first thing I wanted to do was to take a moment to introduce myself to the Peace Corps community and thank you for everything you have done and continue to do.

As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, this is quite an emotional moment. When I was in that small town in the Dominican Republic, I was consumed by the same daily thoughts: How was I going to master another language? What did it mean to be a 20 year old, training rural school teachers, many twice my age? How would I make a life in a community so far from my home? In 1967, I couldn’t have imagined all of the people who had worked so tirelessly to allow a Volunteer like me to help in this small community – a community that most staff would never get the chance to see or experience.

Today, the rolls are slightly reversed. I have spent most of my career working in developing countries – but now I will have the extraordinary opportunity to work with the staff in the U.S. and abroad to ensure that the next generation of Volunteers will have the same quality experience that I had in the Peace Corps. Everybody’s service is unique, but I know that no matter where or when someone served – being a Peace Corps Volunteer is a life changing experience. We all tried to make a difference every day.  We accomplished a lot with very little. And most importantly, we had the opportunity to recognize what we can achieve when given the tools to succeed. As President Kennedy envisioned, we learned to understand, respect and admire our host communities and countries.

This is my first day at Peace Corps headquarters since my nomination in early July. I am truly excited and honored to be here. In these first few weeks, I will be spending time getting to know many of you, listening to your ideas, and getting reacquainted with this agency that has meant so much to all of us. We’ll immediately move forward addressing the challenges — both old and new – the agency faces.

At this historic moment, America is now led by a President committed to renewing the call to service and the Peace Corps is on the cusp of our 50th anniversary — I believe there could be no better time for us to work together to capture the imagination of those Americans interested in serving. I can’t do this alone. I look forward to working with you to maintain the high standard that has been set by all of those who have come before us. Together, in the 21st century we will build on this legacy and grow a stronger Peace Corps that continues to champion world peace and friendship.

Quick Survey: Have You Volunteered Abroad?

From Flickr user Adamina via Creative Commons

From Paul Nauert, an intern in our Portland office, originally posted on the homepage blog.

Have you volunteered abroad? Do you have thoughts on where to find funding or how to decide between going with a program or going solo? If so, we’d love to hear from you.

Since the start of this decade, more and more people have been going abroad to volunteer, getting involved in an ever-expanding and more diverse range of places, types of work, and social and environmental causes. Lately at Idealist we’ve been delving into several projects to better understand what is going on in the burgeoning world of international volunteerism and how we can help provide more resources for folks interested in becoming part of it. Continue reading