Volunteer with Visions in Action

Visions in Action is an international NGO based in Washington DC which works in relief and development in Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Liberia and Mexico. Over 600 volunteers have been placed in the past 17 years for periods of 6-12 months in the areas of education, human rights, communications, public health, HIV/AIDS, microenterprise, social work and community development. VIA headquarters are in Washington, DC.

Volunteer Positions
Visions in Action volunteers work in various fields. The positions available in the different fields of work are just as varied. Placements are made based on volunteer experience and interest. Below are descriptions of some of the various positions and the preferred requirements:

Project Manager A mid-level to senior-level supervisory position for professionals who will work in the field or office helping to manage rural and urban development projects. The positions often require extended travel to development project sites in rural areas. Computer skills and business or nonprofit management and supervisory experience is desirable. A background in engineering, agriculture, economics, technology, accounting or finance is very helpful. A masters degree and/or five or more years of experience is preferred.

Program Assistant Work with a mentor or supervisor in an office-based positions in education, health, food relief, refugees, human rights, and women's or environmental issues. This is an entry level position which offers the volunteer an opportunity to gain basic skills and general knowledge of development.

Community Development Field-based positions working with community groups in low- income neighborhoods or rural areas. A hands-on approach to helping families meet basic needs in areas such as health, housing and education is emphasized. It is also an opportunity to become involved in community activities, including the establishment of women's groups, schools and small businesses. Volunteers must be outgoing and willing to learn the local language quickly. They must also have strong interpersonal and organizational skills. Experience in building trades, sewing, primary health care, animal husbandry, agriculture or small business development are especially helpful.

Health Professional Work in a health clinic medical laboratory or hospital as a doctor nurse or clinical assistant. These positions require two years of medical school, a nursing or physical therapy degree, or a background in public health. Opportunities are available in all aspects and levels of the health field, but particular attention is being paid to primary health care and AIDS.
Public Health Educator Perform baseline research, grassroots education or design health communication materials. Volunteers with a liberal arts degree and an interest in public health generally qualify. Prior knowledge or experience is preferred.

Researcher Be a social science or natural science research assistant. Opportunities exist with nonprofit organizations, research institutes or with professors at local universities. Computer skills and strong writing ability are essential. Statistics and/or another relevant degree is helpful.

Journalist Work as a reporter, photographer, assistant editor or newsletter editor for a newspaper, magazine, publisher or nonprofit organization, or assistant producer for a radio or television station. Excellent writing skills required. Prior journalism experience is required for major newspapers and magazines. A background in photography, magazine layout, design and desktop publishing is an asset. While a wide range of journalism opportunities exist, recent graduates with relevant degrees and limited professional experience should expect to work on newletters for nonprofits or in assistant editorial positions.

Youth Group Coordinator Run an orphanage, counsel runaways, coach, tutor, and lead community service projects for teens and children. It is preferred that the volunteer has the ability to learn the local language quickly and previous youth organizing experience is desirable.
Educator/Teacher Teach in a primary or secondary school. Support an education enhancement program. Assist with teacher training.

HIV/AIDS caregiver Support people living with HIV and AIDS. Advocate for life saving drugs and care for PLWHA.
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