SUPPORT FRIENDS PEACE TEAMS

There are a great many tasks to be done to maintain an organization engaging in peacebuilding in places spread out around the world. Friends Peace Teams depends heavily on the volunteer efforts of Friends and others to operate. It has very few paid staff.

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The three initiatives of Friends Peace Teams offer opportunities for volunteers to engage in peacebuilding directly in various places in the world.  These opportunities include extended service engagements and can take advantage of special skills, such as language fluency. Traveling to different parts of the world with different native languages, facilitating the FPT workshops and other programs, and supporting partner organizations requires skills and commitment.  Not everyone who would like to contribute to peacebuilding in the world can make that sort of commitment. But the initiative coordinators, program facilitators, and extended service volunteers cannot work alone: they need a lot of support. FPT provides many opportunities for volunteers to contribute to its peacebuilding mission in small and large ways.

The Structure of Friends Peace Teams

As of 2017, Friends Peace Teams has three initiatives: the African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI), FPT in Asia West Pacific (AWP), and Peacebuilding en Las Américas (PLA). Each initiative has one or two coordinators and is supported by a working group, which has a clerk, and may have other staff, such as financial or communications specialists.  The job of the working group is to support the work of the initiative.

The overall governing body of Friends Peace Teams is the Council. The members of the Council are the clerk, representatives to FPT from the Friends’ yearly meetings, the coordinators of the initiatives and the clerks of the initiative working groups, FPT staff, and members at large who serve on committees or perform various functions.

Volunteers may want to work with a particular initiative or may support the whole organization.  Friends may also provide support for the individuals who are doing the work of peacebuilding directly.

Volunteer with Friends Peace Teams

Become a representative to Friends Peace Teams from your Friends’ Yearly Meeting.  Yearly Meeting representatives are members of the FPT council.  All of the YM representatives also form a YM representatives committee.  To become a yearly meeting representative, contact your YM nominating committee.  If your yearly meeting has not approved naming a representative to FPT, request that it do so.

Volunteer for the FPT council.  The council work is primarily done by various committees, such as finance, fundraising, communications, etc.  Individuals may be invited to join the council to do some of its work and serve on its committees.  The council meets in a conference call once a month and in a face-to-face meeting once a year. It also produces a PeaceQuest conference once a year, following the face-to-face meeting.  Council committees meet as needed. To get information about current specific needs for volunteers on the FPT council, contact the clerk of the FPT council, Thomas Martin, email: fireflytom@mindspring.com.

Help publicize and raise funds for FPT.  Subscribe to the FPT newsletter, PeaceWays, and share it with your meeting and other friends. To be placed on the mailing list for PeaceWays, contact the FPT office at office@friendspeaceteams.org. Or bring a Friends Peace Teams speaker to your meeting or organization and organize an event around FPT. The initiative coordinators and others do speaking tours at various times.  If your yearly meeting has a representative to FPT, they should be able to help you plan an event in your locale.

Volunteer with an Initiative

If you are particularly interested in one of the FPT initiatives, there are volunteer opportunities with each initiative.  Participating in the peacebuilding programs in various countries may require specific skills or training.  But there are also many supporting tasks which do not have such stringent requirements.

Volunteering with PLA

There are opportunities for volunteers to facilitate peacebuilding programs in multiple field sites.  Spanish speakers with training in Alternatives to Violence Project workshop facilitation are needed.  There is a particular need for program development and workshop facilitation in meditation, non-hegemonic masculinities, restorative justice, and healing from sexual and gender-based violence.

PLA also needs volunteers for administrative tasks such as fundraising, accounting, publicity, translation of materials and video documentation.  Most of these tasks can be performed in the US.

To learn more about the opportunities for volunteering with PLA, contact pla@friendspeaceteams.org.

Volunteering with AWP

AWP welcomes volunteers for its working group.  Working group members may reside in different countries; travel is not required. The Asia West Pacific Initiative meets monthly via Zoom (similar to Skype).

Fundraising is always welcome. Hosting a speaker at a soup and bread supper is a great way to visit with people and share our work. Working group members are available to come to speak either in person or over Skype. Hosting a showing of the film, Silaturahmi: The Power of Visiting, is another choice.

AWP supports peace teams that regularly visit Indonesia, Nepal, and the Philippines.  Other areas of interest include Korea, Palestine/Israel, Ukraine/Chechnya and the First Nations of Australia.

AWP has established a Friends’ House at Peace Place in Pati, Indonesia where people can visit and volunteer. We host AVP workshops, teach English and visit with the local diverse religious communities.

Peace Teams form as the spirit moves, although we do hold an annual International Training for Peace at Peace Place in Pati, Indonesia in January or February every year.

The Power of Goodness story project, a global pool of short stories from real people demonstrating the power of goodness, is sponsored by AWP.  It encourages volunteers to search out and submit new stories.  It has its own working group, which welcomes new members. They are also looking for people who can translate the Power of Goodness stories into Indonesian, Nepali or other languages of the Asia West Pacific region. The Power of Goodness meets about 5-6 times a year via Zoom.

For more information about volunteering in AWP and/or joining a peace team, write to FPT-AWP’s Communications Specialist at asia@friendspeaceteams.org.

Volunteering with AGLI

Extended Service Volunteers (ESVs)

Interested individuals may apply to become Extended Service Volunteers working with AGLI projects in Africa. The type of work depends on the skills of the volunteers and the needs of the projects. ESVs are normally provided room and board with local families or consistent with local conditions where they work.  They are expected to raise the funds for their transportation to and from the work location and their personal needs while at the project.

Prospective volunteers should write to Dawn Rubbert at dawn@aglifpt.org expressing their interest and what they would like to do.  They would be asked to fill out an ESV application. The AGLI coordinator and members of the AGLI working group would consider the application and try to find a suitable place for the prospective volunteer to work.

Workcamps

Workcamps of approximately one month may be scheduled when there is sufficient interest from prospective campers and a suitable project.  No workcamps are currently scheduled, but if you are interested in participating in a workcamp, contact dave@aglifpt.org.

Supporting FPT Volunteers and Staff

The volunteers and staff who participate in the Friends Peace Teams programs and workshops travel to often unfamiliar places, encounter different cultures and may hear many troubling accounts of violence, hardship and grief.  The people who undertake that work need personal support. The Friends traditions of clearness committees and support committees are some ways to provide such support.

If you know someone planning or contemplating a trip with or for FPT, does that person want or need a clearness committee, support committee, or your personal encouragement and support?  Friends who volunteer to support the individuals who travel with Friends Peace Teams for peacebuilding are also supporting Friends Peace Teams.

Volunteers who want to travel with Friends Peace Teams may also need to raise money for their trip.  Contributing and helping them raise money are other ways to support them and FPT.

New Initiatives are Also Welcome

If you would like to ask us about bringing in a new initiative, please contact us at office@friendspeaceteams.org. Our main office primarily offers administrative support to initiatives, allowing the initiatives to go out into the world to do the work.