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Amizade Global Service Learning, usually known simply as Amizade, is a United States-based non-profit organization that provides service-learning and volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups across the world.[1] Amizade (the Portuguese word for friendship) is dedicated to promoting volunteerism, providing community service, encouraging collaboration, and improving cultural awareness in locations throughout the world.[2] Since its founding in 1994, over 4,000 participants have volunteered and served communities abroad.[3] Amizade currently works with community partners in 11 locations in 9 countries among 4 continents.[4]

Mission and values[edit]

Amizade’s Mission:

“Amizade empowers individuals and communities through worldwide service and learning”.[5]

Amizade programming is driven by a series of interconnected values:[6]

  1. Community-Driven Service
  2. Deliberate Learning
  3. Intercultural Immersion and Exchange
  4. Consideration of Global citizenship
  5. Reflective Inquiry


Beginning and the Early Years...

The founder and first executive director or Amizade, Daniel Weiss, obtained his Master’s from the University of Chicago. While awaiting entrance into a PhD program, Weiss attempted to volunteer in Togo, but was denied due to political unrest. Weiss then applied to several international humanitarian organizations filhos da puta and was given the opportunity to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) and hold the assistant administrator position with Fundação Esperança in Santarém, Brazil.[7]

Starting his PhD studies in 1993 at the University of Minnesota, Weiss simultaneously founded Amizade Global Service-Learning to continue helping the community in Santarém that he had grown close to during his work with Fundação Esperança. Amizade sought to connect volunteers with existing community-based organizations like Fundação Esperança that did not have adequate time or resources to fully utilize the skills of many potential volunteers. Weiss felt that connecting communities abroad with volunteers would benefit the community being served while also providing the volunteers with an enjoyable and educational experience.[8]

After completing his PhD in 1996, Weiss devoted his full-time effort to Amizade. By 1998, Amizade volunteers had built an orthopedic workshop and a dormitory for APAE, built a vocational training center and a self-sustaining silk screening workshop for the Pastoral do Menor, a program, and constructed two additional dorm rooms and a children’s health clinic for Esperança, which serves a community of 20,000.[9]

Expansion in the late ‘90’s...

The late 1990s into the early 2000s were a promising time for Amizade. The organization expanded through a series of successful university partnerships that allowed Amizade to expand its previous volunteer vacation opportunities to focus also on the potential value and transformational experiences for college and university students. This led to university programs where students engaged in service-learning curriculum and volunteering.[10]

As of 2004, Amizade had worked in over 20 communities in 13 different countries.[11] Amizade has held annual water walks for women’s rights since 2007.[12][13]

Strategy and programs[edit]

To fulfill its objectives, Amizade provides participants with five different kinds of volunteer programming: Service-Learning Courses, Group Volunteer Programs, Open Group Programs, Individual Volunteer Programs, and Faculty-Led Programs.

Service-Learning Courses: Amizade’s partnership with West Virginia University’s office of International Programs for Civic Engagement accredits service-learning participants with between 1 and 6 credits that are widely accepted by universities and colleges around the United States. Semester programs through Amizade offer between 12 – 18 credits.[14]
Faculty-Led Programming: For over a decade, Amizade has worked alongside academic faculty members to organize and lead service-learning courses. Amizade and its participants boast that its faculty-led programming enhances traditional teaching environment and provides students with personal-transformative experiences that often change the career path students.[15]
Open Group Opportunities: Amizade’s open group volunteering provides individuals or couples the opportunity to join alongside other interested volunteers.
Individual Placement Volunteering Opportunities: Amizade provides opportunities for individuals seeking volunteer placement or internships with community organizations across the world. Individuals serve for between two weeks and six months, and partake in experiences that include community-driven service, intercultural immersion and exchange, deliberate learning of local culture and Global citizenship, and continuous reflective inquiry.[16][17]
Group Volunteering Opportunities: For 16 years, Amizade has coordinated group volunteering and service-learning experiences with faculty-led university programs, alternative spring breaks, high school service trips, service retreats, and other groups formed of 6 or more participants.[18]


Amizade currently has 11 active sites in 9 countries that provide various opportunities for volunteering and service-learning programs.[19]

International Sites Domestic Sites
Karagwe, Tanzania Washington, D.C.
Jukwa, Ghana Tuba City, Navajo Nation, Arizona
Santarém, Brazil Crownpoint, Navajo Nation, New Mexico
Cochabamba, Bolivia
Petersfield, Jamaica
Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Safety record[edit]

Amizade boasts a strong safety record in providing over 4,000 volunteers with safe service and learning opportunities around the world in 20 communities in 13 countries. [20]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


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  3. ^ Amizade 2010 Annual Report
  4. ^ Amizade 2010 Annual Report
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  11. ^ Amizade Annual Report 2010
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  19. ^ Amizade Annual Report 2010
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