Posts Tagged ‘Volunteers for Peace’

Changers Profile: TORY SONSTROEM, Volunteers for Peace

logoTory Sonstroem has this whole volunteer thing figured out—Ireland, Wales, Iceland, Alaska, Italy, Turkey, and more. She and her husband and daughter have been project participants as well as project hosts for other visiting service workers for Volunteers for Peace over the past many years. To give of your hard-earned vacation time to make a difference in the lives of others is one thing. To open your doors and arms to other weary and wary travelers doing the same is giving on a whole new level.

The VFP mission: “Volunteers For PeaceIMG_2725 promotes International Voluntary Service as an effective means of intercultural education, service learning, and community development. We provide projects where people from diverse backgrounds can work together to help overcome the need, violence, and environmental challenges facing our planet. We organize and promote projects where nations join together to improve life on our planet and volunteers experience a microcosm of our world. Through the exchange of ideas and international understanding, our projects are practical ways to both prevent and resolve conflict while meeting local needs. By encouraging and providing opportunities for voluntary service we are sowing the seeds of a better future for all.”

 Tory tells me that the typical format of a VFP experience is a 2-3 week residential project with up to a dozen volunteers from different nations. The group usually lives together in simple accommodations while accomplishing a given work assignment. VFP’s fee per project is quite low (currently about $500 per person), although volunteers are responsible for their own transportation. VFP sometimes refers to itself as a “short-term Peace Corps.”

 After the jump you’ll find the questions I wanted to know of such a dedicated, repeat (you might even say habitual) volunteer. Continue reading