For nearly 60 years ago, we have set the global standard for engaging volunteer experts around the world. While our model of serving has changed since then, volunteers are still a vital part of our work around the world. Our volunteers bring invaluable expertise to their global neighbors, sharing knowledge, building mutual trust, and helping to create opportunity. They report being deeply enriched through these relationships. Their connections with people we serve enrich us all.
“I believe that only by understanding others can we gain understanding for ourselves. I believe in a world where everyone shares information, so that collective knowledge increases.
I learn something new every day I volunteer.”
– Lynda Swenson, IESC Volunteer Expert and 2016 Volunteer of the Year (VEGA)
“All the work I have done in agriculture and agribusiness can now be used to help transform the lives of others.”
– IESC Volunteer Melody Meyer
- Our volunteers are experts in their industry with years of private sector experience.
- They are motivated, dedicated, and each one has a formidable toolkit at their disposal.
- With deep, practical industry experience, volunteers are uniquely positioned to help generate business for our beneficiaries. A volunteer will often open up their professional network to help a business reach potential buyers in new markets. You can’t put a price tag on that kind of access.
- Many volunteers develop lifelong relationships with people they work with—fostering goodwill with our global neighbors.
We harness the power of volunteers to create opportunity, share knowledge, and build trust.
Volunteers In Action
In Tunisia, organics expert and volunteer Melody Meyer mentored an olive oil producer that was looking to export to the United States. Melody’s careful guidance and support led to a deal with a New York company for 300 tons of organic Tunisian olive oil valued at $1.2 million.
Volunteer Allyn Lamb is an expert in agricultural lending. On his second assignment in Egypt, he designed a microfinance lending program for livestock producers in collaboration with loan officers, livestock growers, veterinarians, and potential customers.
In Cambodia, volunteer Lisa Larson used her decades of experience in organizational management to develop a tool to help local nonprofit organizations assess their capabilities and plan for a sustainable future.