Service Opportunities

 

We are often asked about how to get direct experience in working to improve our world and live out Quaker values. Here are some of the service opportunities in Canada and internationally available to Young Friends and others seeking direct experience in support of a world where all are freed to reach their fullest potential. Note that CFSC does not endorse any of these programs in particular, so further research and decisions about what service work you are most led to is up to you!
 

"I had a fantastic experience as a CFSC intern in 2000.  CFSC staff and committee provided invaluable guidance and mentorship that helped me not just meet my internship objectives but to consider career leadings from a Quaker perspective. I went on to do a Master's degree, work internationally and start a small business - and CFSC helped give me the clarity, confidence and sense of spiritual purpose to fuel all these endeavours." ~ Barbara Everdene

“I had a fantastic experience as a CFSC intern in 2000. CFSC staff and committee provided invaluable guidance and mentorship that helped me not just meet my internship objectives but to consider career leadings from a Quaker perspective. I went on to do a Master’s degree, work internationally and start a small business – and CFSC helped give me the clarity, confidence and sense of spiritual purpose to fuel all these endeavours.”
~ Barbara Everdene

In Canada
1) Program Assistant with Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC)
CFSC Program Assistants (PAs) develop educational resources, undertake research, and deepen their understanding of Quaker work. Canadian Friends Service Committee offers a four-month paid position with full time hours from 1 May – 31 August, for young people ages 19 – 29. PAs undertake a diversity of activities to give a sense of the breadth of work under CFSC’s care and to strengthen their experience and skills for working in a charitable organization. Directed studies in Quakerism are also an option for those who are interested. PAs also undertake direct service work with a community-based organization aside from CFSC.
 
Affiliation with the Religious Society of Friends is preferred but not required.
 
2) CFSC individual grants
Funding is available to support individual Friends’ peace and justice work.
 
Open only to Friends.
 
3) Camp NeeKauNis (Quaker)
Volunteer activities include Work Camp, cooking, working with youth and helping at refugee camp. Week long, weekends, mostly summertime. Where: Southern Ontario, near Waubaushene. Costs vary; funding is available through the camp.
 
Open to Friends and non-Friends.
 
4) Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP)
Founded by Quakers, AVP offers nonviolence training in communities, schools, and prisons in Canada and around the world. AVP is a strictly unpaid volunteer program.
 
Open to Friends and non-Friends.
 
5) Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA)
Founded in 1995 by Mennonites in Ontario, CoSAs have now spread around the world, providing support and accountability primarily for those who have committed sexual offenses and are reintegrating into their communities. The unpaid volunteers who serve on a CoSA are 21 or older. They are professionally supported and work in conjunction with community agencies, treatment providers like psychologists, parole or probation officers, the police, and courts.
 
Open to Friends and non-Friends.
 
6) Mennonite Central Committee Canada (MCC)
A historic peace church, Canadian Mennonites offer programs which range from a few hours a week in communities across Canada to weeks/months/years abroad.
 
Non-Mennonites are accepted for many positions, however they must be an active member of a Christian church and agree to adhere to MCC’s detailed document on faith commitments and lifestyle.
 
Outside of Canada
1) Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS)
QVS operates houses of service where volunteers at least 21 years of age live together while working at different volunteer placements with different organizations. The houses are currently located in Atlanta, GA; Portland, OR; and Philadelphia, PA and QVS has decided to start accepting Canadians into the program, which runs for a full year. Participants are expected to fundraise at least $2,000.
 
Open to Friends and non-Friends but there is an expectation that all will participate in Quaker worship and learn about Friends’ practices.
 

Friends House in London, England is home to the offices of Quaker Peace and Social Witness among other Quaker bodies

Friends House in London, England is home to the offices of Quaker Peace and Social Witness among other Quaker bodies

2) Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW)
QPSW (the British equivalent to CFSC) places peace workers within other (non-Quaker) peace organizations. The aim is both to provide the peace worker with paid work experience and to enhance a partner organisation’s capacity. When: Year-long; Where: United Kingdom
 
Open to Friends and non-Friends.
 
3) Quaker United Nations Offices (QUNO)
a. QUNO Geneva Summer School
Introduction to the structure and function of the UN seen through the programmatic work of QUNO. When: 2 weeks in July Where: Geneva
 
b. QUNO Programme Assistantships (Internships):
Both QUNO offices offer internships to those with an interest in international affairs and the UN
When: Year-long; Where: Geneva and New York. Paid positions. Note that applicants are required to sort out their own work permits and accommodation.
 
Open to Friends and non-Friends.
 
4) Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA)
QCEA offers full year paid internships as well as shorter (2-3 month) volunteer opportunities based in Brussels, Belgium.
 
Open only to Friends.
 
5) Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)
FCNL offers paid 11 month internships as well as unpaid summer internships (for youth 18-23) based in their offices in Washington, DC.
 
Open to Friends and non-Friends.
 
6) Quaker Youth Pilgrimage (sponsored by FWCC)
Every two years a group of Young Friends (ages 16-18) spend a month together in the summer traveling, living, and working on a service project. The Young Friends learn about Quaker history and processes, strengthen their relationship to the Spirit, and experience the diversity of Friends’ traditions and worship. The Pilgrimage is jointly sponsored by the Section of the Americas and the Europe and Middle East Section of Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) and has been run for over 50 years.
 
Open only to Friends.
 
7) American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
Volunteer opportunities are open on a periodic basis and there are a wide variety of internship opportunities.
 
Open to Friends and non-Friends.
 
8) Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre
Located in Birmingham, England, Woodbrooke provides opportunities for Friends seeking to join their “Worship and Welcome” team for anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. Friends in Residence should be prepared for late evenings, early mornings and occasional disturbed nights. Friends in Residence create a welcoming atmosphere and support Woodbrooke in many activities such as bulk mailings, cleaning, and gardening. Friends in Residence receive free accommodation and meals and have the opportunity to attend courses offered at Woodbrooke.
 
Open only to Friends.
Parfaite Ntahuba, Coordinator of AGLI sponsored Friends Women's Association in Burundi prepares before giving a talk at Friends House in Toronto

Parfaite Ntahuba, Coordinator of AGLI sponsored Friends Women’s Association in Burundi prepares before giving a talk at Friends House in Toronto

 
9) African Great Lakes Initiative of the Friends Peace Teams (AGLI)
AGLI strengthens, supports, and promotes peace activities at the grassroots level, focusing on conflict management, peacebuilding, trauma healing, and reconciliation. Work camps bring together locals and internationals to engage in this peacebuilding work. When: Mid-June to mid-July. Where: Great Lakes Region of Africa (Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, & Kenya). Cost: Fundraising (minimum $2,300) plus airfare.
 
Open to Friends and non-Friends.
 
10) ProNica
A project of South Eastern Yearly Meeting, ProNica assists established community organizations in Nicaragua, focusing on community development, sustainable agriculture, health, education, nonviolence training, and economic empowerment. Volunteers must speak near fluent Spanish and commit to a minimum of 2 months. Work varies according to the needs of the partner organizations. There are also shorter student delegations. Volunteers pay for all of their own expenses and do not receive any stipends.
 
Open to Friends and non-Friends.
 
11) World Council of Churches’ (WCC) Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)
EAPPI is coordinated for Canadians by the United Church of Canada. Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) monitor and report violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, offering protection through nonviolent presence, engaging in public policy advocacy and standing in solidarity with those struggling against the occupation. Must be 25 years of age or older with a knowledge of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and a commitment to continued advocacy upon return home. 3 month placement. Where: 6 different teams located around the West Bank.
 
Open to Friends and non-Friends.
 
12) Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT)
Co-founded by Friends United Meeting, CPT practices faith-based, active peacemaking grounded in the transforming power of Gospel nonviolence in communities experiencing violence. Short-term delegations or longer-term presence around the world in areas of crisis. Applicants must be at least 21 and have experience in nonviolent direct action. Stipends are offered for some types of service.
 
Open to Friends and non-Friends.
 
13) Peace Brigades International (PBI)
Founded by Friends, PBI places volunteers in communities where support and protective accompaniment is requested by local human rights defenders. PBI volunteers report to the outside world a balanced analysis of the situation witnessed on the ground. Expenses are fully covered and volunteers get a small stipend. PBI prefers volunteers to be over the age of 25 and able to make a minimum commitment of staying in the country for a year.
 
Open to Friends and non-Friends.
 
14) Other
For a variety of other Quaker related volunteer opportunities of varying lengths see www.quakerinfo.org/service/index.
 
 
Peace Education
Finally, while not a service opportunity, if you’re looking to get a post-secondary education related to peace check this list of colleges and universities in Canada and the United States with programs that focus on reducing violence and addressing injustice as part of the peacebuilding process.