Maintaining the innovative spirit of our sector-changing Fair Trade Learning model, Amizade announced the launch of our newest initiative: The Global Social Action Accelerator!
As part of our mission to inspire empathy, catalyze social action, and link diverse communities through Fair Trade Learning, Amizade wants to invest in our alumni and community partners to catalyze social action around the world. Through the Global Social Action Accelerator (GSAA), Amizade will help participants build on their new skills, passions, and networks by funding and supporting social action projects designed to address a need in their home community. In the form of small grants (of up to $1,000), project management training, and mentorship, these ideas will be catalyzed into social action, providing long-term impact in the communities where they were implemented, and valuable skills, experience, and professional development opportunities for the project leaders.
The Global Social Action Accelerator is currently not accepting applications at this point. Amizade is rethinking the model to shortly re-open for new ideas.
So, how does it work? As this is the launch of the GSAA, the first cohort will have a big hand in shaping the program for the future. In order to make the process as seamless as possible, the online application is very clear and simple, and we also offer a database of online resources to help applicants of all levels of experience to develop strong project proposals. Once selected, project leaders will have access to additional project planning resources and can participate in training modules to support them as they launch their projects including fundraising and crowdfunding to help them reach their required 50% funding match. Participants will also be matched to a Project Mentor or Champion from the Amizade network — either alumni with project experience or someone with a specific applicable skill set. The projects will be conducted over the course of a year with Amizade and our network available for guidance and encouragement along the way.
Why is this important? Survey data and Amizade’s 24 years of experience indicate that the benefits of global volunteer work are amplified and nurtured by the professional development and new networks that volunteers acquire from their experience. After a three year review of global volunteer impact, we believe that the next step forward to make more people better off and remain connected is to build on our participants’ (both visitors and hosts) new skills, passion, and networks, and invest in them to catalyze new social action projects all over the world. The GSAA is Amizade’s answer to two of the worst challenges in global volunteerism: (1) a legacy of development failures and (2) lost opportunities in the “re-entry” phase, when people return to their home communities inspired to be better global citizens but have no guide or outlet to do good work. Having completed service work, social entrepreneurs like our alumni and community partners around the world now feel confident in their ability to positively impact their community, and Amizade wants to help cultivate that drive.
Our experience and data prove that the power in these experiences lies in (1) the social capital built between diverse groups of people and (2) the potential for future innovative social action and solidarity building. Through the GSAA, Amizade is restating our dedication to investing in human beings to see their full potential to positively impact their communities, because we believe the true power of global volunteerism doesn’t end when the trip ends, but in the social action catalyzed by the experience.
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