Human Force ran its first volunteer camp in 2009 at Fundación Amanecer, Colombia, where volunteers built a classroom for the Foundation’s school that serves local disadvantaged children.
Participants included a mix of Colombian and international volunteers – from the States, Australia and England. During the first week the team dedicated itself to building work, under the supervision and guidance of an expert. In the second week, they also started activities with the girls and boys from the school and from the Semillitas daycare programme. The young people carried out several cultural and integrative activities, including trips to the Cocora Valley and the town of Salento where handicrafts are made. The camp was an overall success for all concerned: volunteers, project and community. Human Force was born!
In 2010 the volunteer team headed off to Usaha Mulia Abadi A.C, Mexico. There, volunteers worked creatively with local children through art workshops and participated in reforestation. It was an interesting group aged 17 to 26 from different backgrounds and with different expectations and a great meeting place between cultures, languages and a shared commitment to make a difference for this project and community it serves. The second successful camp!
2011 saw Human Force travel to Indonesia to work for the third time, this time with YUM Cipanas Village. Volunteers from Indonesia, India, Australia, France, Colombia, Brazil, and the US ran creative workshops with the children, taught English at the school onsite, and worked on the organic farm. The goal was to support the Village’s sustainable organic agriculture program, to do some renovations on the site’s buildings, and to pilot a program that would bring students and other volunteers to the YUM Village to assist in social work and to learn the value of contributing to the community.
By the end of the two weeks, both the project and volunteers felt that they had benefited from what they said was a “priceless” experience. The diversity of the program and the outings to the community were special highlights for the volunteers, and YUM felt that all targets were met.
In 2012, the camp was held at Anisha, India, where volunteers and team leaders taught English, carried out food security survey and helped make a documentary about the project.
Twelve people from five different countries came together to assist in Anisha’s efforts to support rural farmers, whose livelihoods and stability have been compromised by the widespread use of genetically modified seeds and chemical soil fertilizers and pesticides, including DDT. Volunteers did this by working on three different tasks that sought to further establish Anisha in the region, guide its goals and targets, and inspire local children’s studies. Over the course of the two weeks, volunteers grew close to one another and to members of the community, creating an experience that helped not only Anisha as a project but each individual involved grow.
Those in the know said it was the best camp so far!
The 2014 camp was held in Puebla, Mexico, at a daycare centre for underprivileged 0-5 year olds, where we helped build a community garden and paint a beautiful mural. The camp was held in conjunction with SDIA member A Child’s Garden of Peace (ACGP), a project that partners with existing community organizations to develop school and community gardens, run by Illène Pevec, PhD and it was hosted by Casa Cuna Palafox and Mendoza, a childcare centre for low-resource families. It was an excellent camp, meeting its material objectives, providing the volunteers with what was for many a life-changing experience and helping them on their path to becoming socially aware global citizens.
All five camps undertook community-oriented projects that involved many fun, rewarding, and educational tasks. With much success and progress over the last three years, Human Force continues to form groups of volunteers willing to provide their energy, work, and love to projects around the world.