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Florida International Volunteer Corps activities are demand-driven. Projects are “owned” by the requesting organization. Requesting organizations themselves select consultants from volunteer candidate credentials supplied by FAVACA. Volunteers are partners, not parents. Corps consultants don’t impose technologies and programs on recipients.
Volunteers serve a relatively short one or two weeks in the field per consultation, but can return as often as dictated by the needs of the partner. Many consultants develop life-long relationships with colleagues overseas.
We think small because we have learned that “pieces of change” are, in some cases, needed more than huge development schemes costing millions of dollars. Corps volunteers focus on using technology appropriate to the resources available.
Florida International Volunteer Corps assistance, according to a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) study, “has been from 40% to 50% less expensive than that provided by international technical services firms.” Additionally, volunteers have generated up to four dollars in cash, materials and supply donations for every dollar invested in a volunteer’s placement.
Technical assistance and training are effective when they are timely and accessible. Florida’s International Volunteer Corps is a small, action-oriented program free of institutional constraints which can burden governments and large private organizations. Requests for volunteers can be made in writing or by phone. FAVACA can recruit, screen and place volunteers in weeks, not months or years.
Volunteer Corps projects focus on positive outcomes. Only requests with solid grassroots support, which can be self-sustained and have high human and economic payoff potential, meet the Corps’ stringent criteria. Projects that protect the environment, create jobs, increase productivity, promote self-sufficiency and improve living conditions receive high priority.