April 6, 2011

April 6, 2011
Volunteer Positive

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Wednesday and we have almost made it through the middle of another work week. It is another busy day for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.

Today we are being interviewed and filmed for a documentary on HIV and AIDS in Florida by a graduate student at University of Miami. We met her at the AIDS Walk in Miami this past Sunday. So she is going to follow us while we volunteer at the Friend's Fitness Gym of Poverello's and then at Fusion. So it should be an interesting day.

Today, I would like to talk about a new website which was shared with me at the Positive Living Conference in Ft. Walton Beach a few weeks ago.

The name of the website is Volunteer Positive. They are an international services for people affected by HIV. Their mission statement is:

Volunteer Positive empowers people living with and affected by HIV to be engaged global citizens by creating service opportunities through partnerships both domestically and abroad. Volunteer Positive facilitates person to person diplomacy for individuals living with and affected by HIV.

Volunteer Positive supports training and education for international service organizations committed to proactive inclusion for international volunteers living with and affected by HIV. Volunteer Positive creates opportunities for people living with and affected by HIV to work with inclusive international service organizations through training, education, and capacity building.

Volunteer Positive seeks to strengthen and promote the social value of people living with and affected by HIV both domestically and abroad. Volunteer Positive works to improve the health of our volunteers and the communities they impact through self esteem building, informed self care, and capacity building.

Volunteer Positive also works to prevent HIV infections, support and empower people affected and infected by HIV/AIDS, and eliminate HIV/AIDS related stigma.

So why should you volunteer?

Volunteering abroad means offering your knowledge and services to assist others who have unmet needs in a different country. Often times this gives you the opportunity to work with local people from the host culture. Since you are donating your time, volunteer positions are not paid. Generally, volunteer positions do not require specific skills or previous experience.

Depending on what kind of experience you are seeking, there are different types of international volunteering that volunteers may want to consider. Some examples of projects you can expect to find on our program include: developing small business enterprise, teaching English, working on women cooperatives, promoting healthcare, constructing a school or clinic, supporting human right efforts, etc.

There are countless reasons why thousands s of people volunteer abroad each year. You may start with a desire to travel, learn a new language, or meet new people. By volunteering you will also have the opportunity to lend a hand to those who are working to improve life in their community. Through your daily work and interactions with members of the local communities, you will gain a better understanding of the culture, as well as the issues that affect that part of the world. You will also learn a lot about yourself, as you take on the challenge of living and working in a completely new environment.

After checking into their organization, I can say I am very impressed with the work they are doing. For more information, you can see their website at: http://www.volunteerpositive.org/index.cfm?FuseAction=Abroad.Home

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab