one world center 6 month volunteer abroad program

Our 6-Month Program focuses on the grassroots community work needed here in the United States to build sustainable communities for future generations.

This program aims to train people who want to work together with impoverished communities in the USA to create positive change. Additionally, this program strives to address inequality and injustice by working together with organizations and people in Michigan and surrounding Midwest states.

Program Structure

Learn more about the three periods of the program in the tabs below:

2 Months – USA

The first part is the training period based at our Michigan campus. You and your team will learn the practical skills needed for the project work in communities along with a theoretical training to enhance your knowledge base. You will learn a broad variety of topics connected with the situation in  the world today, the living conditions in poor communities, and the struggle of food insecurity.

The focus of the courses during this period will be on learning: Fighting with The Poor; Big Issues of Our Time; Lifestyle Sustainability; Learn to Work, Work to Learn; and Mastering the Material World.

Part of the practical training of this period takes place in One World Center’s Garden Farm. You will learn about growing and harvesting organic food first-hand. Additionally, you and your team will participate in outreach activities in the local area with organizations connected with poverty and food insecurity, such as: assisting at the local food pantry or soup kitchen; advocating for social justice following Reverend Pinkney for “court watch”; and establishing vegetable gardens for children with Fresh Start in Benton Harbor, MI.

3 Months – Project Work

Once you are equipped with all the knowledge needed, you will embark on the next stage of the journey. You, along with a trio from your team, will assigned to a  project in Michigan or Northwest Indiana to support local community development projects. You will learn hands-on to be the multi-faceted community development worker that is so desperately needed to support growth and sustainability.

Depending on the season and the needs of your assigned project, you will work with: growing good quality food for the communities around the project; teaching children life skills and assisting with homework; and preparing various community events (e.g. thanksgiving dinners, school supply drives, various community fairs).

Like with any of One World Center’s programs, your team will live in the communities where you work. This is important so that get first-hand experience about what life is like for the people you are working with and what challenges do they face. While in the field as part of your ongoing theoretical studies, you will conduct investigations in the community regarding: poverty, water issues and food insecurity. You will touch on all the subjects of program by connecting the theoretical knowledge with what you are living and experiencing.

1 Month – USA

You and your team will return to the Michigan campus to digest your experiences. This final stage of the cycle allows you to share your findings and evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the work in the field.

You will hone your skills as public speakers by preparing multi-media presentations. You and your team will discuss and craft the message that you wish to bring to the public. You will take your presentation on the road in a tour around Michigan in order to raise awareness about poverty in the USA and the specific issues you and your team wish to highlight.

The period ends with you hosting a big event where we will celebrate all that you achieved together with your team and all the people you have worked with at One World Center and your projects.

Get A Sneak Peak
What You Will Learn
  • Fighting With The Poor

    Learn about the situation of poor people around the world and in the USA, their fight for a decent livelihood and the obstacles they face. This topic also touches on why there are still people living in poverty in the world today, social movements and possible solutions. Additionally, this topic will cover the culture of non-profits in the USA, raising funds, details of the projects where we work and standing in solidarity with human kind.

  • Big Issues of Our Time

    Learn some of the big issues in the world today, such as: inequality, war, wealth distribution, global health, and specific issues within the USA.

  • Mastering the Material World

    Learn about science, global warming and climate change, sustainable energy, food security, organic farming, and how technologies can support positive community change.

  • Learn to Work, Work to Learn

    Learn a practical approach to the importance of being productive. Gain an understanding that, most often, it is humble work is what matters most and that being a community leader is doing whatever work is necessary. It is about planning, implementing, using our hands, and learning new practical skills.

  • Lifestyle Sustainability

    Learn about healthy lifestyles, building physical and mental stamina, creating an understanding of a sustainable world and the power of community. Additionally, learn about the health crisis in the USA and and why viruses such as HIV and COVID-19 appear in humans.

  • Bringing It To The Public

    Learn about creating a message of importance. Gain experience and knowledge about using different tools and art forms to bring your message to many people. Additionally, enhance your speech writing skills and confidence in public speaking.

  • Open Future

    Learn that what we do today as individuals and societies is built on what others did before us. The concept of Open Future is built on the understanding that there is no “end goal” and “isms” and that people in the present create the future by their choice and actions, as will the future generations.

10 Things You Will Gain
  • Knowledge and understanding of the world we live in, with specific emphasis on the USA.

  • Learn different perspectives about the USA and different takes on why we are where we are today.

  • Experience working with different communities in the USA and an understanding of the power of diversity in our society.

  • Experience with non-profit organizations and their work in the USA.

  • Knowledge about sustainable living and growing food organically.

  • Practice and develop leadership skills.

  • Train your public speaking skills.

  • Build stamina and the ability to do whatever it takes to reach goals.

  • Realize your power and become the driving force in your life.

  • Come together with like-minded people and build your teamwork capabilities.

The Details
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