Burma Volunteer Project

The Burma Volunteer Program (BVP), a project under Thabyay Education Network, was set up in Thailand in January 2001 to bridge the gap between pro-democratic Burmese organizations looking for assistance and volunteers wishing to donate time and skills toward the creation of a democratic and just Burma.

Volunteers work closely with Burmese organizations (political groups, ethnic groups and women’s groups) working for political and social development in Burma. 

BVP volunteers work with groups located in Thailand in areas near the Thai-Burma border. Volunteers are primarily involved with English communications training programs and skills workshops.  Apart from English teaching, volunteers can also assist host organizations with fundraising and organizational development, human rights documentation, and special skills training such as multimedia
communications and journalism, depending on specific organizational requests.  BVP staff makes an effort to ensure that volunteer placements correspond to volunteers’ prior work experience and the need of the organizations.

BVP does not charge a program fee, and prides itself on the fact that many volunteers have leveraged their volunteer experience to gain full-time employment with both international NGOs and host organizations at the border. Positions are non-remunerated, however, accommodation, 2-3 meals per day, as well as local transport (where applicable) are provided throughout the placement. Volunteers are responsible for their own airfare, health insurance, and incurred travel expenses. Volunteers are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. Candidates should be native English speakers, or fluent English speakers. Experience with human rights or international politics is a plus. To learn more about the project visit, to participate contact


November 13, 2010 Posted by | Volunteering | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CASA Volunteer Project

CASA volunteers are everyday citizens, judges appoint to advocate for the safety and well-being of children who have been removed from their homes due to parental abuse and neglect. They stand up for these children and change their lives.

History: In 1977, a Seattle juvenile court judge concerned about making drastic decisions with insufficient information conceived the idea of citizen volunteers speaking up for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom. From that first program has grown a network of more than 1,000 CASA and guardian ad litem program offices that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers in 49 states. Read more about the history of the CASA movement

Last year, more than 70,900 CASA and guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteers helped 237,000 abused and neglected children find safe, permanent homes. Each year, more than 700,000 children experience foster care in this country. Because there are not enough CASA volunteers to represent all of the children in care, judges typically assign CASA volunteers to their most difficult cases.

CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.

CASA volunteers make a difference in the lives of foster children, one child at a time, by ensuring they receive the support and help they deserve.

Are you looking for ways to get involved with CASA? Whether you have lots of time or little time to contribute, whether you want to work directly with a child in need or would rather help with social events, there is a volunteer opportunity that is the right fit for you.

Find out more about how to participate in CASA Boston,  New York City, LA or find another city

November 11, 2010 Posted by | Volunteering | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mapping Party at MIT

Ben and I were lucky to attend the Map party on Sunday at MIT. We had no idea what it was going to be like, but were instructed by Adam H to show up and learn more about mapping and demonstrate our MAP activity on XO and

The event surprised me because I realized that 1) google maps are not perfect, 2) people do ALL kinds of volunteer work, even map creation! This project appeals to people who like technology, maps and making positive impact in the community.

Open Street Map (OSM) is the largest open source mapping project in the world that was launched in 2008 in UK. It’s been growing rapidly thanks to volunteers.

So what OSM participants do? They get their GPS with them every time they go on a hike, bike ride, etc. and when they come home – upload their route to the website and edit the map. They correct or add what they saw – new buildings, hiking trails, bike lanes and more. 

The event started with presentations, then one team went outside to collect track/data with GPS units and another team used imagery to update features locally. I didn’t go outside but stayed in and added new bike lane (Somerville Ave) to the map. Ben braved the cold and gathered info on footpath in the Front Park at MIT.

Later we all uploaded GPS traces either from walking maps (you can scan and upload), I-phones or other GPS devices(Garmin60). There are various free mobile apps for iPhone/iPad (trackrec, Motion X GPS Lite, BTD mapper), on the Android platform My Tracks and Ridetrac are also free GPS tracking apps  for that.

We uploaded GPX format files into either OSM or JOSM and used feature “edit and save” for upload later. There were some editing conflicts, as several people worked on similar edits, but at the end conflicts was resolved and the map was improved.

For more information please visit and

If you are interested in participating, please contact Lisa at, David at or Lars at

November 8, 2010 Posted by | Volunteering | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet Cheb and Advocates

Cheb, N/A,

Privet, I don’t know where exactly I’m from, but it is a tropical country with lush vegetation.

One day I squirmed into a box of oranges, only to be mistakenly shipped to Russia, and brought to a toy store.  I was so different from everyone else that no one was interested in me; I was neglected, living in a cage and very lonely. One day an alligator named Gene came to the store, saw me, and adopted me. We became best friends.

Being helped by Gene inspired me to give back to the community and do something good for others. Today I volunteer and promote the Olympic games in Russia, and you can see my picture on many billboards. I feel so happy and proud that I can be useful.  Many people in Russia are enthusiastic about the Olympiad because of my efforts to promote it.  Long Live Volunteerism!

Mathieu, 25

I am from Aix en Provence, France. Growing up, I was into music and I turned my passion into my profession.  I am a former actor, and today I’m a musician, sound engineer and sound designer.
Because of years of studying and working, I did not take time to travel, but this year I decided to take time off work and travel to Vietnam to volunteer and just explore a new country.
I was up for a big surprise! I was teaching English to children from low-income families in a day shelter. We played games, and I even had an opportunity to teach them how to play music on the OLPC computers! I had great time, made friends, and tried myself as a teacher, which was very fulfilling. I cannot wait to go and volunteer again!

Carrie, 37

Guten tag. I was born in Eastern Germany. Growing up there I didn’t feel free to do things I wanted to do and travel where I wanted to travel. After years of waiting for permission to move, my parents and I relocated to Western Germany where I was introduced to a different world. Since then I traveled a lot, and my favorite country is India. More than traveling I like to volunteer and help children who do no have the means and opportunities like I had in life. In India I worked with street kids, who have nothing but their thirst for life and hopes to survive. I went to University and finished my studies in social work. I like to be exposed to different cultures and people. I am a vagabond at heart. My next place to volunteer will be somewhere in South America!

Kris, 56

Hello! I live in Spokane, Washington. I have a daughter and a husband. I have been a teacher for many years, and now I’m retired and have more free time. I’m actively involved in several organizations as a volunteer to help refugees get settled in the States by tutoring them.  Every year I sponsor several students to get a high school and university education in Albania, Vietnam and Bangladesh. We write letters to each other, and it warms my heart to see them graduate and achieve new heights of success in their lives. I have many interests like sewing, baking and traveling abroad or locally. You can always find volunteering/coaching opportunities where you live because those opportunities are everywhere.

November 8, 2010 Posted by | Volunteering | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hello world!

At first, I planned to create a website where anyone can find volunteer opportunities in the US and abroad. Then I realized that I can deliver my message through a blog, which will be free to everyone. There are many organizations that charge fees for giving project contacts, but my goal is to share my experience and tell about meaningful projects around the world. Here you can find opportunities to volunteer, but more importantly – to become happier and share your happiness with others. So please, forward this blog to anyone who is interested in being useful and improving the world  through volunteering.

Volunteer work is as diverse, engaging, and meaningful as you are! You can

  • Teach English
  • Care for Disabled
  • Build Houses
  • Preserve Wildlife
  • Help OLPC deployments

And  do much more such as research, foster and elderly care, NGO’s, medical work, or micro-finance. You can even be a hiking guide with a higher purpose!

Volunteering is flexible with projects lasting from one day to forever, using general skills or specific skills, with local language knowledge or not. All you need to do is to pick a volunteer project that you are passionate about, that speaks to your heart, and that reflects the difference you want to make. Once you are ready, reach out to the project leaders and they will help you get where you want to be.

Remember that our imagination is the only limit to our potential… Just dream about a project and it probably exists or will exist soon just because you were thinking of it… Welcome to the volunteer hub of Cheb!

November 7, 2010 Posted by | Volunteering | , , , , , | Leave a comment