America Solidaria Fellowship Program March 2016-2017
According to the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, one out of every five children below the age of 15 lives in extreme poverty. The international development community has marked the year 2030 as an ambitious milestone to end extreme poverty, but much work is required across all sectors of society. America Solidaria U.S. (know in the US as Serving the Americas Foundation) realizes that in order to accomplish this goal, partnerships within civil society are strongly needed. By developing effective, lasting partnerships with local organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean, we help enhance the capacity of these organizations by placing skilled volunteers that contribute to projects in the areas of health, education, and community economic development.
America Solidaria is an international non-profit organization with an extensive network throughout the Americas targeting underserved and disadvantaged communities. Founded in Santiago, Chile in 2002 to promote professional volunteer engagement in the Western Hemisphere, America Solidaria has developed more than 330 projects involving 550 professional volunteers at 87 non-profit organizations in 13 countries.
Every year, more than 33,000 people throughout the Americas benefit from our collective partnerships with companies, governments, multilateral organizations, and local community stakeholders. Local offices can currently be found in Haiti, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, and the United States.
America Solidaria seeks volunteers that will participate in a yearlong fellowship program. Committing themselves to serve some of the most vulnerable communities of the Western Hemisphere, we are interested in applicants that have a strong desire to implement local projects that help alleviate poverty and inequality. Projects are focused in the areas of health, education, and economic development to benefit children, youth, and families living in poverty.
Since 2002, 550 professionals from various countries within the Americas have contributed to an assortment of projects in collaboration with host organizations. Fellows engage in cross-cultural dialogue and cultivate technical skills including grassroots organizing, community engagement, and leadership development. Please review our website at http://www.americasolidaria.org/en/proyectos/ to learn more about past volunteer projects.
Education levels, careers, work experiences, skills sets, and countries of origin are as diverse as the projects that volunteers are involved in. For that reason, we work diligently to match prospective volunteers with host organizations that maximize their skills and interests, as well as to make their placement an effective contribution to the goals of partner organizations. At times, highly qualified volunteers may not be placed in a given cycle, depending on the needs of the host organizations, and their applications are retained for future cycles.
Benefits of participating in this yearlong program include an out-of-country orientation that provides cross-cultural, technical, health, and safety skills training; an opportunity to further enhance language skills; and a professional experience that will contribute to a career in development, project management, and non-profit administration. During the 11-12 months of in-country service, volunteers will live with other individuals participating in the program in the communities they serve, ranging from small rural villages to large urban centers.
After completing their term of service, volunteers return to their country of origin as global citizens with leadership skills, cross-cultural understanding, and technical capacity that positions them well for further professional opportunities. Past volunteers have gone on to work in regional and international non-profits, government agencies, and the private sector.
WHERE ARE THE PROJECTS LOCATED?
Fellowships provide support to local organizations in the following countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, Uruguay and the United States. Please note that volunteers are required to serve outside of their country of origin.
WHAT IS THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA?
Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident*
Applicants must be 35 years or younger
Applicants must possess a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
Applicants must possess professional experience in the NGO/nonprofit/social or public sector
Applicants must demonstrate Spanish language ability**
Applicants must demonstrate leadership and collaborative skills
* The US Office will process applications from Canada and Mexico for service in Latin America. Mexicans will be able to apply in Spanish.
**Knowledge of French/Creole would be an asset for Haiti, in addition to Spanish proficiency.
WHAT ARE THE PROGRAM BENEFITS?
Travel to and from country of service
Placement at a host organization
Housing and monthly living stipend (this is adequate to support a modest lifestyle for one person based on the local cost of living)
Alumni Americas Network
Out-of-country two week orientation that provides cross-cultural, technical, health, and safety skills training.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Fellows are expected to participate full-time during the service-year fellowship
Fellows may not incur any outside obligations which might interfere with attending the orientation and other program activities
Fellows may not perform political or religious advocacy during the course of their fellowship
Fellows may not receive pay for serving in participating organizations during the course of their fellowship
Fellows may not hold any paid position that will interfere with their full participation in the fellowship program
Fellows are expected to conform to the same professional standards as paid staff members
Additional Note: If you’re married or engaged to be married, please keep in mind that América Solidaria will not sponsor visas for Fellow’s spouses or children. Also please consider that our housing and monthly living stipend is adequate to support a modest lifestyle for ONE person based on the local cost of living.
APPLICATION CYCLE DATES
Twice a year (March and September), America Solidaria seeks a new cohort of talented individuals. Selection for the March cohort begins in October, and selection for the September cohort begins in March.
Please note, If you are accepted to the program, there may be a quick turnaround time between your acceptance and the beginning of the program. Start dates are not flexible, and assuming your visa is approved, you must begin your project with the cohort to which you are accepted.
SELECTION PROCESS AND TIMELINE:
Mid-September: Application opens
Late October: Priority deadline for applications
Mid-October – mid-November: Application review process
Mid-November: Semi-finalists are selected. All candidates will be notified of their application status by email
Mid-November – early January: Interviews with semi-finalist
Late December: Deadline for letters of recommendation (close at 11:59pm EST)
Second week of January: Applicants are notified of final decisions
Early March: Out-of-country orientation (in Chile)
Mid-March: Travel to host country
End of March: Fellows’ first day at Host Organization
Mid-March: Application opens
Late April: Priority deadline for applications
Mid-April – mid-May: Application review process
Mid-May: Semi-finalists are selected. All candidates will be notified of their application status by email
Mid-May – early July: Interviews with semi-finalist
Late July: Deadline for letters of recommendation (close at 11:59pm EST)
Second week of July: Applicants are notified of final decisions
Early August: Out-of-country orientation (in Chile)
Mid-September: Travel to host country
Please direct any questions regarding the application process or America Solidaria to firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to reviewing your application!