Amizade continues to grow and empower more individuals and communities. In 2013, we facilitated life-changing experiences for over 700 volunteers who provided more than 35,000 hours of service in 12 countries – our most ever. Everyday lives are being transformed, and our small organization is making a big impact in ways we could not have imagined 20 years ago. And of course, none of this would have been possible without your encouragement and financial support, and we thank you.
But here’s the bad news: Our 20 year experiment is too often empowering the lives of relatively privileged individuals. Our new data suggests that our programs tend to give life-changing opportunities to suburban, upper-middle class, and overwhelmingly white elite high school and university students. While we all deserve the opportunity to serve and learn, Amizade is eager to address the gap that exists between those who have access to our programs, those who don’t, and those who don’t even know that experiences like Amizade are possible. To do this, however, we need your support. Please consider contributing to Amizade to support our work in closing the empowerment gap.
As a part of our Fair Trade Learning model, which recognizes that the individuals and communities that host students and volunteers are uniquely impacted by visitors and should be offered fair working conditions and compensation; hold significant voice in the orchestration of programming and planning; and be offered proper professional development opportunities, we also hope to work with our partners to offer more opportunities for first generation college students, low-income volunteers, and public high school students. In addition, we are continuing to offer partially subsidized opportunities for individuals in our communities abroad to engage in service-learning programs in the United States. This past year, we have been able to bring visitors from our partner sites in Brazil, Trinidad, Northern Ireland, and Jamaica to the Pittsburgh area to participate in personal and professional development opportunities. With your support, we can work to develop this model even further in coming years.
We continue to be inspired by our volunteers and partners. At the same time, we need to do more to ensure that our programs are not only available to the lucky few. To do this, we need your financial support. Please consider becoming a Sustaining Amizade Member by enrolling in our monthly donor program. Whether you are able to give $10 or $100 per month, your recurring contribution is essential to closing the opportunity gap. Your donation makes it possible for even more individuals, from the US and abroad, to participate in world-altering experiences.
Happy holidays and thank you for your continued support!