NGO MANAGEMENT & ADMINISTRATION - Experience the day-to-day running of a grass-roots NGO!

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About

This versatile experience and observation program gives insight into all aspects of running the Aldeas de Paz Foundation. This program is focused on those who are interested in starting their own charity or want hands-on experience in working in an NGO.
The volunteers and interns observe and assist the coordinator with office work, as well as in-community project support and administrative work and the coordination and supervision of community programs. The NGO volunteers will also help to ensure the well-being of our volunteers and their full integration into various programs offered, as well as into the social life of the community. The foundation relies on NGO volunteers to ensure smooth operations and therefore requires flexible volunteers. Direct work with our primary beneficiaries is an essential part of the work of Aldeas de Paz so that the NGO volunteers are also expected to participate in foundation-wide events and activities involving our beneficiaries.

Highlights
  • Help manage a small non-government organization in the Dominican Republic.
  • Gain Spanish fluency by receiving up to six free lessons per week.
  • Create a bond with our local staff and other interns, and leave with lifetime friendships and memories.
  • Experience the Dominican way of life, including the easiness and sound of bachata music throughout the whole day.
  • Travel around the country and get to know the Caribbean beaches, waterfalls, rivers and mountains!

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Questions & Answers

Reviews

100%
based on 7 reviews
  • Impact 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Value 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 7 of 7
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Luisa
10/10

It is an enrichment not only for your working experience but also for your personality

I‘ve been in the Dominican Republic for 2 months and worked in NGO management. It has been the best experience of my life and I can only advise you to do such an internship or volunteer work abroad. It is an enrichment not only for your working experience but also for your personality. Additionally you come to know a lot of people from different countries and in order to this, gain some language skills, especially in Spanish.
I lived in a really nice apartment in Las Terrenas and went on some awesome trips on the weekends as they most of the time are for free.
The organization is always there for you if you have questions and helped me with the transportation from the airport and back. Sometimes there are some communication problems between Samaná and Las Terrenas but I guess it’s totally normal as the organization is still improving. However I also saw a lot of progress and new ideas, but that’s why the organization also depends on the volunteers as they can bring a lot of experience from other countries and different schools, universities or companies.
Thanks especially to Vito who works really hard to further improve the organization and is always there if you need something.
Everyone was just so nice and I am so thankful for this special time. I will remember it para siempre :)

Yes, I recommend this program
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Maximilian
10/10

A time you will never forget

The time with Aldeas De Paz is one of the experiences you will never forget. You get to know the country in a totally different way than just doing a holiday. And you are working on something, that makes a difference to other people's lives. The good thing about Aldeas De Paz is, that you really have a lot of different opportunities to volunteer and work on projects you like. Wether you want to work with kids, animals, the ocean, or experience the work place in a local hospital. Even if you choose one specific project, you have the chance to get to know other projects and places as well. I worked for one year in the NGO program in Las Terrenas and was one of the first volunteers in this location. ADP in Las Terrenas is still developing its work and things take time in the country. So to volunteer here, you have to realize that you won´t find a lot of standard processes and typical everyday’s work, for now. But that also means that you will have a lot of opportunities to bring in your ideas or develop your own projects. The Foundation is still small and you get to know each other very fast. And that´s where it comes to the other fun part: the weekends. Here you have really a lot of options to spend them. Beside of visiting some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, you have enough opportunities to have a very good time after work. You can do boat trips to islands, mangroves or whale watching, or you rent a quad and visit the peninsula or even the whole country with the local Guaguas. But even if you want to stay in town you can spend the time, like most of the dominicans, drinking beer, ron or having a dinner at a comedor or a restaurant if you want. When it comes to this, you have to decide in which location you want to volunteer, both are very different. The main things in Las Terrenas, where I was located, are the many beautiful beaches and the good restaurants you have here. You can take a walk on the beach in the morning or at lunch and go to an italian restaurant in the evening. But also if you volunteer in Samaná, you can visit on the weekends or meet the other volunteers. Anyway you will have enough opportunities in both locations to meet each other sometimes. The biggest benefit in Samaná is the interaction with the dominicans. Because Las Terrenas has a lot of europeans and americans, you are more treated like a tourist. In Samaná you will experience more the typical dominican life and be in touch with the locals. Both Locations have its benefits, but it is for sure, that you will enjoy your stay. The coordinators do their best that you can enjoy your trip, while working on multiple projects to keep the foundations work growing. Especially with the Mamá Elba School in Samaná and its different side projects, ADP and all the volunteers and employees, really do a difference to the local community. The country is very beautiful but there are a lot of things to work on, and the whole foundation is doing its best to help and to the most as they can. In total, volunteering at Aldeas De Paz will be an experience nobody will never forget.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Saskia
10/10

Starting with the man in the mirror

If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make that change. When I came here, my focus was on my internship in the NGO program, firstly to fulfill my university requirements, and secondly because I am planning on doing my masters in NGO Management. But of course, how do you manage an NGO if you are not involved in the projects 100%? That’s why I also wanted to take part in the Youth and Community Program. Also, every Wednesday night I taught English for the community here in Samaná, ranging from all ages, which helped me to meet a lot of Dominican people and improve my Spanish. In the mornings I worked on my the laptop, creating ideas for how to improve the concept of Aldeas de Paz and in the afternoon I was part of something wonderful and reminded why I was there through working with the kids of the Mamá Elba School. It was my first time working with kids with special needs, but to be honest, this was one of my best experiences I have ever had so far. I think they even taught me more than I taught them. After the first weeks I realized I want to do something that has an impact on these kids and will help them long term. That was when I decided to start a Crowdfunding Campaign to collect money so the school will be able to pay for diagnosis and therapy for each kid. What I loved was that through having total flexibility and trust from Aldeas de Paz, I had the possibility to decide most things by myself and create this project together with the whole team. I really learned a lot just creating this project and learning by doing. It worked out great, though I have to admit that I had to get used to the Dominican way of working, which sometimes was really annoying and time consuming. I guess everyone who comes here just needs to accept this “tranquilo” attitude, but it can also help to get a little bit calmer and help you to deal with things; sometimes it just does not work out the way you planned it, deal with it! But besides that I love the Dominican Republic. Of course the beaches, sun and nature blow your mind here in Samanà, but I promise these heartwarming people, the music, the dancing, the food (yaroaaa), the colmados and the culture in general will be even more a life-changing experience in an awesome way. I can’t describe how much I am impressed and in love with this country and these people and I guess you just can understand if you are here by yourself and open-minded enough to enjoy and try everything new. So people out there who want to experience a country with a big heart, good food, amazing people and you really want to be part of something beautiful, Aldeas de Paz is perfect.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Adam
10/10

Trip of my life!

I arrived in Samana on the 16th October 2017. As soon as I got off the bus I was welcomed by my ‘buddy’ (A volunteer who introduces you to Samana for the first few days) and one of the coordinator’s. This friendly welcome helped me to settle into the Dominican Lifestyle which is drastically different from the United Kingdom. I was introduced to the NGO team who I would be working with for the 8 weeks and the other volunteers who were volunteering with the charity. I realised very quickly that the coordinators and volunteers were all extremely passionate about their work as they knew that this was having a direct impact on the children of the Special Needs school which the ADP run. I was assigned multiple tasks ranging from researching new agencies that promote the charity to translating text into English. This was a great chance to develop my team working skills, time management and skills working independently. I was given the opportunity to teach English to the Dominicans which I took
straight away. This was a great chance to assist with their personal development and wellbeing as it would help them get jobs in the booming tourism sector. I thoroughly enjoyed planning and presenting these lessons and watching their English progress I was never worried about being bored, there was always work to do and at the weekends we would go to a beach or to a local excursion. These were perfect to conclude a week of volunteering and gave me a chance to see more of the Dominican Culture and the countryside. In my 8 weeks here I have had the chance to work with disabled children, learn about veterinary, teach english, gain experience and help with the management of a small NGO, learnt (somewhat) how to dance the Dominican way, found out how to exit a hammock after multiple failed attempts and met a fantastic group of volunteers who I will be sure to see again sometime in the future. I couldn’t have asked for a better 8 weeks and I will be sure to miss the children, the volunteers and of course, the sun.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Michael
10/10

Get out of your „normal“ life and get to know a different culture

I worked for 2 and a half Months in the NGO Management in Las Terrenas. I had
a lot of different tasks during my stay. For example, Managing the publishing of
Job offers on Listing Websites or translating texts for the Website and many
many more smaller tasks.
My highlight was a trip of all Volunteers to a rented Villa with a perfect view and
nice atmosphere. But it was just one of many beautiful trips we did together.
Aldeas de Paz is a very familial organization. It´s not too big and you get to know
every coordinator on site. The coordinators are really kind and take care about
every need the volunteers have.
The Dominican Republic is obviously a very hot place and you need to get used
to the climate for the first days. The most dominican People i met were really
friendly and always open for a conversation. I was really wondered about the
loud music, which is played at every corner every time. Sometimes it can get
annoying but most of the time it´s very enjoyable.
I can really recommend you to travel to Aldeas de Paz in the Dominican
Republic, because you will make a lot of experiences for your future. It is also a
good way to get out of your „normal“ life and get to know a different culture.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Kari
10/10

I know I will be back again!

During my stay at Aldeas de Paz I was involved in the NGO program and in the
Youth, Care and Community Program which focuses on the Mama Elba Especial
Escuela in Santa Barbara de Samaná. In the NGO Program, I completed a variety
of tasks from creating projects that should be launching in the coming months,
updated listings, and attended meetings. In the Mama Elba Especial Escuela, a
school for children with a wide range of disabilities and you truly wouldn’t know
it from their energy and excitement they show to be in school and interacting
with their peers and volunteers. While living in Samaná, I lived in one of the
Guesthouses and I immensely enjoyed the living situation as a whole and
wouldn’t have traded it for the world. Throughout my time at Aldeas de Paz, my
roommates had been from the UK, Germany, and Italy. Living in the
Guesthouse and meeting people from around the world is such an interesting
experience and easy to replicate but impossible to duplicate with the same
results as I have experienced during my time at Aldeas de Paz. You should try
though, it won't disappoint! On the weekends, you’re able to go wherever you
want to go and normally the volunteers will plan the weekend day trips and
anyone is invited to join! My favorite place to go while I have stayed here in
Samaná is Cayo Levantado, which is only a short boat trip away from the
harbor, it is paradise. If you’re interested in volunteering with Aldeas de Paz, or
even anywhere where you have never been, try to go with no expectations
because that will make your experience more enjoyable and it won’t hinder
your stay and you’ll find your experience far more enjoyable. I am going to miss
many things such as the kids at school, my walks into town, my housemates

whom we shared many nights on the terrace just talking together. It was an
incredible experience and it’s made possible not only by Aldeas de Paz but by
the individuals that volunteer and create that environment. I am happy with my
time and experiences that I have had here in the Dominican Republic and I
know I will be back again!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Alina
10/10

Samaná ist eine sehr schöne Stadt mit äußerst netten und friedlichen Bewohnern

An der Busstation in Samaná angekommen, wurde ich herzlich empfangen und mir wurde gleich die Stadt gezeigt. Diese ist sehr belebt, hat viel Verkehr und die meisten Menschen fahren mit Mopeds umher. Aus allen Ecken ist dominikanische Musik zu hören und überall gibt es etwas zu essen zu kaufen. Samaná ist eine sehr schöne Stadt mit äußerst netten und friedlichen Bewohnern, in der ich mich sehr sicher fühle. Ich bin für den Bereich Multimedia zuständig. Die anderen Freiwilligen arbeiten im Krankenhaus, im NGO Management, im Bereich Youthcare. Da wir alle in so unterschiedlichen Bereichen tätig sind, ist es sehr interessant, sich mit den anderen auszutauschen. Noch dazu kommt jeder Freiwiliige aus einem anderen Land, wodurch uns auch ein kultureller Austausch untereinander ermöglicht wird. Die Arbeitszeit wird hier sehr flexibel gehandhabt, ich habe mich hier aber dem Zeitplan der anderen Freiwilligen angepasst, die von 9 Uhr bis 12 Uhr und nach der Mittagspause nochmals von 14 Uhr bis 17:30 Uhrarbeiten. Meine Arbeit hier ist sehr vielfältig und ich habe die Möglichkeit, mich individuell auf die Dinge zu konzentrieren, die mich interessieren. Ich muss aber auf jeden Fall sehr viel Eigeninitiative mitbringen, denn es wird mir kein Plan vorgegeben, was ich zu tun habe. Zusätzlich zu meinem eigentlichen Projekt arbeite ich zwei Tage pro Woche in der Sonderschule von Aldeas de Paz, dem Herzstück der Organisation. Die Schule ist dienstags, mittwochs und donnerstags jeweils von 14 Uhr bis 17 Uhr geöffnet. Hier werden etwa 12 Kinder unterschiedlichen Alters mit Behinderungen, die nicht einmal diagnostiziert wurden, von zwei Lehrerinnen unterrichtet. Schon während meines ersten Besuch dort, fiel mir auf, wie viel hier verbessert werden kann. Wir bekommen sechs Stunden pro Woche kostenlosen Spanisch Unterricht. Da ich keine Vorkenntnisse hatte, war es für mich zu Beginn sehr schwer, mit anderen zu kommunizieren. Der Spanisch Unterricht hat mir dabei sehr geholfen, sodass ich mittlerweile einiges auf Spanisch verstehe und auch besser mit den Kindern arbeiten kann. Von der Organisation vor Ort wurde ich sehr gut betreut. Es war rund um die Uhr jemand erreichbar und egal welches Problem auftrat, ich wurde stets unterstützt. Ingesamt kann ich sagen, dass ich durch dieses Projekt viele neue Eindrücke gewonnen habe, viel erlebt habe und eine wundervolle Zeit in Santa Bárbara de Samaná hatte!

Yes, I recommend this program

About Fundacion Aldeas de Paz

We promote a Culture of Peace through enriching cross-cultural exchange for people of all cultural backgrounds and nationalities and we practice voluntary community service where we provide additional opportunities in education, sports, health care...