Why Join ProWorld?
Real Projects - Make a Difference
All of our projects come from communities’ assessments of their own needs and although they often have modest beginnings, they are remarkably successful and thorough. ProWorld teams in Peru, Belize, and Mexico help assess and then execute the projects year round to ensure sustainable and valuable development for our host communities and volunteers. These projects are the foundation of every ProWorld program. By joining ProWorld, volunteers become agents of positive change in the lives of others and themselves.
The vital economic support from volunteers’ program fees strengthens the positive impact of hands-on work by volunteers. Program fees pay for volunteer experiences and support our host community economies in the forms of project materials purchases, local salaries, host family payments, and local purchases. To date, this capital injection by ProWorld and its volunteers to our host communities is over $1.4 million dollars.
We believe volunteers deserve to be challenged, to be exposed to new and authentic experiences, and to participate in real development projects. ProWorld programs challenge volunteers physically, culturally, and intellectually through experiential learning, hands-on development work, and cultural immersion. Volunteers gain skills in sustainable development work, leadership, and cross-cultural communication, and gain a broadened perspective of themselves and the world in which we live.
Volunteers develop meaningful relationships with host families and local community members by working and living together. New insights and understandings are forged daily, offering volunteers tremendous opportunities for cross-cultural learning and self-reflection.
In addition, there is a shared feeling of mission that binds team members and volunteers to their projects and each other. Common experiences, academic challenges, and team projects provide a sturdy and satisfying peer to peer support system made stronger by the exceptional nature of ProWorld volunteers. This shared experience is often the most rewarding aspect of a ProWorld program for many volunteers, as they join the growing ProWorld Alumni network of friends and colleagues.
ProWorld Staff Support
Staff teams are composed of local and international development workers and range in size from 3 to 12 staff members per site. For every eight program volunteers there is at least one in-country ProWorld staff member. Staff are part of every aspect of the program experience, encouraging cultural immersion, providing quality support, and often becoming friends as well as guides for the volunteer’s journey. To lear more about the ProWorld team, visit the staff page.
Why Pay to Volunteer?
ProWorld has established long-term relationships with our host communities that would be impossible to build without long-term contributions. Individual volunteers may come and go, but ProWorld maintains its presence and relationships. ProWorld provides on-site intensive orientation that you wouldn’t get on your own. We provide the infrastructure to allow you to make a difference. We provide safe and caring homestay environments that would be impossible to create right after getting off a plane. Our staff is on-site to provide support for you and they know the people, communities, and countries.
Use of Funds:
A minimum financial contribution of $100 to $400 is made on behalf of each volunteer for their specific project, to ensure an equitable and supportive relationship with our host communities. Additionally, we invest a large portion of the volunteer’s tuition into resources to support their experience. Volunteer project contributions augment community contributions in the form of local staff salaries, homestay support, and purchases of goods and services on behalf of the volunteer.
ProWorld has contributed in excess of $120,000 directly to community projects and infused over $1.4M into our host communities, based on this business and development model.
ProWorld Service Corps employs a development model which functions entirely on volunteer paid tuition(s). This gives us great flexibility in our project selection and execution, allows us to work based on community need, and eliminates third party influence. The challenge is that we have to support a multinational organization using these same funds.
"Where does my money go?" is a common and appropriate question from participants. Volunteers can clearly see their money in use in the program activities. However, some of ProWorld’s expenses are less obvious because they are indirectly related to the volunteer experience or support the organization as a whole. For example: maintenance of the website, renting office space at our program sites, and visits to investigate potential community development projects. Other costs include marketing and administration, an IT specialist, ProWorld executives, and above all, a year round staff of dedicated professionals. Plus, the majority of ProWorld volunteers join during the summer months, however ProWorld maintains year round support of projects and communities. All these elements are essential to ensure an experience of unparalleled quality.
Even with those expenses, the vast majority of volunteer funds are applied to program and field costs such as direct project contributions (a minimum of $100 to $400 per participant), a personalized myproworld website, phone calls from onsite staff to prepare volunteers, local staff members’ salaries, homestay family expenses, program materials, insurance, transportation, international communication, and recreation and excursions. These expenses total approximately 86% of volunteer program fees. The remaining 14% goes to general administrative costs in the US and UK.
ProWorld has contributed in excess of $100,000 directly to community projects and infused over $1.4M into our host communities, based on this business and development model.
We believe that within every project decision and every community interaction there exists the opportunity for ProWorld staff and volunteers to strengthen our mission and practice our core values:
In the spirit of collaboration and mutual learning, we will continue to unite our volunteers with Peruvian, Belizean, and Mexican communities. We believe there is much we can learn from each other and much we can accomplish together.