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One World Center

About

We are a non-profit research organization with a mission to inspire and empower ordinary people to take action against worldwide poverty and climate change. Using an innovative teaching and learning environment, we cultivate social change through the power of ideas and direct action to help build sustainable communities around the world.

Our study-volunteer programs give you an in-depth understanding of poverty, how to develop sustainable growth, and teach you how to mobilize the communities you will work in by building a foundation of growth that begins within each of you. We empower your experience by inviting the world to witness the change our programs had in the lives of the communities abroad because of the change it's had in you.

Founded
1999

Reviews

Voluntario
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had a great opportunity to volunteer at One World Center for 18 months, It was an amazing experience ever in my life, I had so much fun meeting people from all over the world and I also had the privilege of living in Michigan Unites States and travel to different cities in this country in my training period in my first 6 months,and I had the blessing of making my service period in Mozambique, Africa, In Manhiça Distric for 6 months. I worked with two schools there Xirindza School and Chibututuine School, I was a teacher of math, sports, music and also taught children how to read Portuguese. in addition, I helped to build 8 playground with my teammate. Everything that I did there was with much love.
My journal period was for almost 6 months in United States where I could share about my experience in Africa and how I helped many children there.

What would you improve about this program?
I improved many things in this program, I learned how to cook, how to travel with a little money, and I also improved my English and learned Portuguese and Changana. besides, I learned how to teach kids.
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Estef
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

During my experience overseas I realized that being a woman on a rural area like where I was in Mozambique means that they are in charge of the house, they have to take care of the kids, clean, take care of the husband, cook for everybody and no to speak out very often. All of this can be awful in the world I come from, how it’s possible that in this century women still doing this when they can study, they can develop themselves in any area they would like, they can decide if they still single or married, they can decide to do any kind of work they want.

It’s very easy to judge a culture from outside, but instead of that I wanted to understand the context where they had born. I understood that to do developing work you can’t impose your believes, neither the way they must live. And I got this opportunity while I was working overseas as volunteer.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
You will start working since you arrive to the school in Michigan, don't think that work would start on your service period, like that you would be able to enjoy better the process.
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Renata
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The experience of preparing myself at One World Center to be able to volunteer in Malawi was incredible.

In Africa I worked for 6 months with preschools in a rural community and it changed my life completely. Knowing new cultures and working shoulder to shoulder with communities in favor of education changed my worldview.

Every child has the right to go to school and the OWC helps us to improve our skills to do our best volunteer work.

I had the support of my team and the organization to reach my goals and I am very happy for this trajectory that I had for 18 months.

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Camila
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I went to Zambia with the willingness, attitude and desire to take advantage and learn from the Zambian culture. After going back and looking back, I realize that with this experience I have grown as a person giving value to small actions. As a volunteer I learned to be recursive and I developed an unimaginable fortress, I was forced myself (constantly) leaving my comfort zone and in the end I realized that the barriers were being placed by me.
I want you to know that this volunteering program wouldn’t have brought anything into my life if I hadn’t decided, I tried to take advantage the time by making friends and accepting that we’re all different and even though I had to leave the project in Zambia ahead of schedule for some safeness issues at the country, the organization relocated me to another country and I could complement, with another volunteering perspective, my experience.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
If you are thinking about doing a volunteering program, keep in mind that it will not be easy, that every day you will have new challenges and that you will constantly test your skills, but at the end of the day you will be 100% sure that it will be one of the most rewarding experiences in your live. Always sees problems as opportunities for improvement and take the challenges with good attitude and energy.
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Nuria
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I am a volunteer, I always believed in how interesting it would be to serve with goodwill, with my hands, my ideas, my strengths and even more with my weaknesses. It sounds weird, but to think about helping others, accompanying them, living their life experience a little, I feel that it is immersing themselves in the need of the other to collectively achieve the desired goals. I volunteer and I feel good when I feel I can be useful. My experience has been extraordinary, I don't know where to start, but I want to assure you that anyone who reads this will be restless about how it was. I wanted to volunteer and now I didn't know where to do it, that's when I met ONE WORLD CENTER, I traveled to Michigan and enrolled in their volunteer program. I didn't know anything about this organization, but once inserted into it, I loved the discipline and responsibility of a community. I felt at home, I felt like family, I never felt alone; there were friends; other volunteers from different parts of the world, all in a previous training to travel
as volunteers to other countries. My goal was to volunteer in Africa and six months later I traveled to Malawi. Now I was in Johannesburg, concerns and concerns were left behind, I was halfway to reach my goal because I was volunteering and the idea was always to go to work helping others, I arrived with materially empty hands, but with love force in my heart .
I have always thought that it is the humanitarian and solidarity feeling that should move us if we want to have a better world. In my diary I was able to write: Between thinking and writing, I don't know if time will come. Every day that passes I know more about these people. It is because here where I am, poverty is observed in many different ways and the desire of people struggling to survive is evident. I worked in Malawi and my project was with preschool children in an area of extreme poverty, in Milala and Chilangoma. In Malawi, preschool care is provided voluntarily by local residents based on teachers; so we can see housewives and parents attending to the little ones. My experience as a volunteer totally changed my life, I thought I was going to help and teach, however, I have to thank the people in Malawi who helped me
and taught me many things. They taught me that a smile and a kind word can change anyone's life. That it is not material things that give value to your life. That in terms of goals the attitude has to do. I thank ONE WORLD CENTER for the opportunity to train as a development Instructor, I lived my experience in Michigan, in an environment of safety and respect where I had my space to study, learn and share in a community environment.

Programs

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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Jessica Sherman

Job Title
Community Outreach and Promotions Coordinator
Jessica works in the promotions department at One World Center's Michigan Campus. A native of New York State, she brings creativity, energy, organization and a passion for helping the poor to her work at One World Center.

What position do you hold at One World Center? What has been your career path so far?

My position at One World Center is the Community Outreach and Promotions Coordinator for the United States. Prior to taking a position with One World Center, I was the owner of a clothing boutique. Through my work in retail and operation my business, it gave me the strong background in promotions and marketing. When I decided to make a career change, I couldn't have selected a better organization to work for. One World Center is doing such amazing work to eradicate poverty while working toward a sustainable future.

As the Community Outreach and Promotions Coordinator, I have to give credit to all of my co-workers. Each and every member of the One World Center Staff is so supportive and devoted to helping each other succeed . Together, we all work hard to complete all tasks that need to be addresses, promote our programs nationally and internationally, keep our programs filled, and always come up with new ideas and projects to further promote sustainable living. I aspire to have a very long career with One World Center and continue working toward our global vision: a sustainable future.

What about the future of the industry? How do you think volunteering abroad & international education will change over the next ten years?

I truly believe our industry has a very bright but challenging future. Our world currently has more people sinking into poverty daily and the adverse effects of climate change & global warming are already evident. However, there is an increasing number of people becoming aware of these issues, the challenges we all will face; the poor being affected the most. These people are starting to take actions to become more sustainable. Together, we can make a change-- every action at home or abroad to become more sustainable is of huge value!

How have you changed or grown since working for One World Center?

There are so many ways I have changed and grown since my start at One World Center.

I have learned so much about our world, the challenges we face, our health & nutrition, poverty, climate change, global warming, ways to become more sustainable, and much, much more! Everyday there is something new to learn at One world Center. It is so rewarding.

Through working with my co-workers, I have also developed in my education on Promotions and Community Outreach. Working with a very talent staff really helps you to develop new skills, think outside of the box, and create creative solution and ideas. We have a very diverse staff and this allows for us to consider many ideas that on our own may have never considered.

I have also made lifelong friendships with people from all corners of the world. This has expanded my mind and allowed me to learn so much about other cultures and given me the opportunity to share my culture as well.

Describe a time when you have felt especially proud to be a part of One World Center.

I honestly do not think I can name just one moment! I am so proud everyday of our organization, the work we do, our staff, our Development Instructors -- seeing how much can be accomplished when we work together.

I am always so excited to talk with the Development Instructors when they arrive back to campus after their service period. They are always so happy, confident, ready to share their experiences and ready to tell us all about how much the service period impacted them. Many times the Development Instructors share that they feel that they received so much more than they could ever give during their service period.

It makes me so proud to be a part of an organization that does that. And, honestly who doesn't want to work for an organization set out to create a better world for all?!