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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.

Reviews

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Keon
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing work - unforgettable, invaluable, timelesss

I participated in a program where I completed six months in Zambia, Africa working in Project HOPE. Project HOPE was centered around battling the HIV/AIDS epidemic rampant throughout parts of the continent.

I lived in Ndola and was required to completed tasks and assignments as part of my development instructor project experience.

Now that I think about it, although I put my best foot forward, I wish that I would have even gone further to leave a greater footprint/impact on my project.

My six months preparation was not easy, we were required to fundraise, and plan, and do what was necessary to create opportunity to participate in the project.

I would reccomend these programs to anyone who truly wants to gain an insight to the developing world around him/her and would definitely recommend one world center for being a A-1 location to gain that experience.

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Charlotte
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A new place, but it turned out, exactly the place where I wanted to be:)

I’ve already volunteered at Richmond Vale Academy, the partner school in St. Vincent, when I got the offer do another program, but this time starting in the US at One World Center.
At first I wasn’t sure if that’s the right thing for me, but looking back, it was the best decision!
Learning and preparing at One World Center for our serving period was great, I gained way more and also different knowledge than I did the year before, when I was just on St. Vincent.
During the serving period it was very helpful to have teachers and project leaders from RVA and OWC to talk to at the same time, to get different views on some topics.
The possibility to live in the US first and then experience a life that is the complete opposite coming to St. Vincent helped to remember why I was doing this.
To learn and to gain new experience (what I definitely did!), but mostly to see how the people live, their struggles and problems and how we could work to together to improve their living conditions.
My team and me, we built home gardens and did tours in these gardens, to educate Vincentians about organic farming and why it’s more sustainable.
The work was great, we lived in the community and through the work got in contact with many people, which was probably my favorite part about the program:)

Pros
  • Meeting strangers&finding friends for life
  • Learnings gardening&permaculture, in theory and practice
  • Help to improve other peoples life’s
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JJ
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Growing from taking risks

After graduating from high school I knew I wanted to take a gap year and do something involved with protecting the environment while also helping people in need and being immersed in different cultures. Though I wasn’t sure how to do this or if I had what it takes to be a volunteer in a different country, I challenged myself to take a risk and get out of my bubble. Looking back now, taking that crucial step was one of the most beneficial choices I could have made.
Pushing outside comfort zone helped me to opened myself up to so much that I never knew I was capable of. During my time in St Vincent I learned about permaculture farming, built gardens and seed nurseries, mobilized people to visit and learn about gardens, and organized beach cleanups with my team. Participating in these actions allowed me to take initiative, improve my organizational and communication skills, and gain experience being a leader.
Though I learned and grew so much just by doing these actions, I also found myself experiencing growth in many other areas of my life. Through connecting with local people I learned about a new culture and new way of life that was much more open minded and supportive than what I had previously experienced in the US. Furthermore, the attitude of most people on the island was very laid back and relaxed. Being in this environment taught me to be more focused on living in and enjoying the present moment rather than being worried about the past or the future.
Overall, I greatly value my time in my program on St Vincent and would encourage others to take on the challenge of becoming a volunteer.

Pros
  • experiencing a new culture
  • helping people in need
  • having fun with my team
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Hanna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Exactly where I wanted to be

I finished high school in summer 2021 and I decided to make volunteer before I start studying at the university. I chose this project and it was a really good decision
After two months of gaining knowledge in the One world center in Michigan we traveled to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. There, we restored organic home gardens which some teams before us built. Afterwards we did garden visits to spread knowledge about organic farming on the island.
The next period was about actually building new home gardens, which was a wonderful experience and exactly what I wanted to do after school. Me and my trio built a garden for a very poor woman who had nothing, not even running water, and we changed her life for the better with the garden. Now she can save money because she doesn’t have to buy vegetables anymore and she can also sell her own and earn money. We actually gave her a base of life and food security as well – this is what I wanted to do in the project. Do actual help where it is needed.
For building the gardens we lived in the communities and that was the best part at all! We got to know the vincy culture better than we ever could in the school, we had a lot of nice talks, we did a beach cleanup with the community and gave some climate change courses for the village. And the whole village loved us.
But we didn’t work the whole time, we also did a lot of activities like visiting waterfalls, hiking on the volcano, go swimming in the night (and enjoy the glowing plankton) and early in the morning, or just after working to lay in the sun. We talked always to a lot of people,
In general you could say, that you have impressive nature if you cannot see or reach the ocean. That’s why I loved the time here also if the project wasn’t organized that good sometimes, it was the best experience I’ve ever made in my whole life. We were living in the paradise with a ton of fresh fruits that we could harvest from the trees, with people who are full of happiness even if they don’t have a lot in their life and with the best team I could imagine!

Pros
  • a lot of experiences
  • you can help where it's actually needed
  • the best way to improve your english
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Nathalie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Be ready for personal growth

If you travel to another part of the world and dive into a completely different culture, you throw yourself out into the cold water. This might sound scary but it is exactly what you should do and what made my volunteering experience the success it was. Working in a program like this has a positive impact on the world but also on yourself. It opens your eyes to what is really going on in the world, what problems other people face, and how important it is to do something about it.

I had just graduated highschool and never travelled outside of Europe before, so my time in the Caribbean presented me many new impressions and challenges. All of them made me grow personally and learn a lot in a short period of time. The focus of my team was on working with organic farming and even though I didn't know much about the topic when I joined the program, after a few weeks I was able to teach others about it and build organic home gardens for local families.

But the knowledge is only one thing. All the experiences I got, the friendships I made and the gratitude of the people I received are probably worth even more. It fills me with joy to know that a poor woman will soon have a source of income because of the garden I built for her and to see how happy she was about that. Even though the program was only a small part of my journey, it created many lasting memories and made an impact on me and on the people I worked with.

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.
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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?!