Segments in this Video

Introduction to Making A Difference; American Volunteers Abroad (02:12)


Volunteers describe why they prefer to spend time helping those in need rather than relaxing on vacation.

American Volunteers Abroad (02:00)

Minnesota based Global Volunteers sends Americans for two-week projects in developing nations throughout the world. Volunteers in Italy like Shirlee Hilton from Mamaroneck, New York prefer to be a volunteer instead of tourist. She works as a teacher's aide in schools.

American Ambassadors (02:15)

Marjorie Goldman from Stamford gets invited into homes to get to know families. She volunteer teaches in the classroom and gives students news about the way children behave in American schools. She helps students pronounce American English which is not easy for Italians.

Global Volunteers in Italy (03:30)

In-Country Coordinator Kathy Lane explains that group goals are about teaching English and to experience the Italian culture as a non-tourist. Volunteer want to give and be of service. Personal goals include reconnecting with ancestral heritage and learning regional cooking.

Glencree, Ireland (03:28)

At a retreat outside of Dublin, volunteers help refurbish an old military barracks that has been turned into the Glencree Center for Reconciliation. Executive Director Ian White explains why the Irish have fallen into negative stereotyping of Americans; volunteers challenge and change those views. The non-profit organizing brings together opposing political parties in order to build trust in an effort to bring peace to Ireland.

Political Parties Meet in Belfast (02:32)

Volunteers meet with political parties and peace activists. They discuss the actions of the IRA and the Ulster Democratic Party. They meet because the ordinary working class people did not think that their point of view was being put across by the mainstream unionist parties. Sectarianism in Ireland is like racism in America.

Camp Hope (03:30)

In Quito, Ecuador Global Volunteers build a safety wall at a home for disabled children. At a nearby orphanage the single mothers and children now feel secure. One of the primary goals is to be a cultural exchange program.

Pediatricians Provide First Time Medical Care (05:02)

Dr. Navin Patel from Athens, GA shows locals that there are people that care. He volunteered to go to a place where mothers and children have not had any medical care. He believes that more doctors can render the care needed, but unfortunately the care is a short term intervention.

Habitat for Humanity International in Uganda (03:18)

David Clemens, a construction worker from Boston, volunteers his time building houses in Budadiri, Uganda. He enjoys the work and helping people with basic human needs like shelter. Habitat seeks to build community by building houses and transforming people's lives.

Means of Cultural Exchange (03:29)

Habitat for Humanity builds low cost housing for people in need throughout the world. The houses built in Habitat Uganda are small by African standards and tiny according to American standards. People in Uganda want simple, decent, and affordable houses. Habitat volunteers work with local masons and homeowners.

Confronting a Christian Volunteer Dilemma (03:08)

While Habitat for Humanity is a Christian organization it attracts many volunteers who are not practicing Christians, which can create conflict. Sandra Won, from Charlottesville, VA knew Habitat was a Christian organization but did not expect to be in the minority on the team. Most of the people on the team are not actively religious or affiliated with a religion.

Raising Money to Volunteer (03:17)

Laura Walter from Scotia, New York wrote to everyone in her address book asking for donations and the response was overwhelming. She received more money than she needed for the trip. By donating money to Laura her financial supporters feel like a part of the building process.

Ngorongoro Crater Attracts Tourists to Tanzania (03:39)

Ngorongoro Crater attracts large numbers of tourists who ride around the park in Land Rovers while photographing wildlife. Americans spend a year volunteering their time to help Tanzanians cope with some of the major social problems it faces as a developing nation. Loti Sareyo, Coordinator Ng'iresi Cultural Tourism Program takes tourists to the school to see how their money is spent. This money is called a Village Development Fee and goes back into the community to help pay for school buildings, water irrigation systems, and energy saving stoves.

Communal Living for a Full Year (04:42)

Visions In Action Volunteers live in a house together for one year, yet do separate projects depending on their areas of interest and expertise. Dinh Kuo, from Los Angeles, helps small businesses called micro enterprises develop. One example of entrepreneurship and changing business habits is in the safflower oil business.

Working With Street Kids (02:00)

Cyrena Carrington Koury from Vermont is a Visions In Action volunteer, she explains how she runs up against western stereotypes every day and tries to break them down. She builds a life skills program for kids and works on developing a discipline code within the home.

Bio Intensive Agriculture Techniques (04:42)

The Global Service Corps accepts Gigi Stowe from Falls Church, Virginia to work in Africa on a project that would feed starving children. This type of agriculture maximizes the water that is available and allows farmers to grow more crops in less space. Land owners save money in the market because they no longer purchase chemicals.

AIDS Education in Africa (02:18)

Some Africans believe that AIDS was created by condom manufacturers to make money. Talking about sex is considered a taboo topic in African culture. Young adults are shy about vocalizing their personal situations, but Susie Chun, a medical student from California and volunteer teacher, found out that if students write down their questions they open up more when it comes to intimate subjects.

Talking About Taboo Subjects (01:28)

Students will talk to foreign teachers like Susie Chun about preventing sexually transmitted diseases, abstinence from sexual activity, and the use of condoms. Chun has learned that patience and taking initiative are key; she hopes to practice what she has learned when she returns to medical school in America.

Credit: Making a Difference: American Volunteers Abroad (01:13)

Credit: Making a Difference: American Volunteers Abroad

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Making A Difference: American Volunteers Abroad

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $509.85
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This film highlights Americans engaged in a wide variety of volunteer efforts outside the United States - teaching English in rural Kenya, providing health care to poverty stricken mothers and children in Ecuador, working with street children in Tanzania, teaching bio-intensive agriculture in East Africa, building houses in Uganda, teaching English in southern Italy and many others. What motivates these volunteers to get involved? What do they get from their experiences? What is their cultural impact? What problems do they encounter and how are these overcome? The program looks at projects virtually any adult American can become involved in whether they have only their two week vacations or can devote a year to a volunteer effort. It follows volunteers representing a broad range of occupations who participate in efforts by four of the leading international volunteer organizations based in the United States.

Length: 58 minutes

Item#: BVL118588

ISBN: 978-1-63521-513-7

Copyright date: ©2000

Closed Captioned

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