In 2012, SOL plans on working with 17 different groups to help to facilitate a meaningful cross-cultural experience thru our Work Group Program.
SOL's Work Group Program is designed to facilitate an experience in which volunteers can be transformed as they learn about themselves and others in another culture. Often the initial intention of 'going to help others' gets turned on its head as people learn how much they actually have to learn from others and themselves as well about things they didn't even anticipate; it becomes a mutual learning process. SOL tries to shy away from the the attitude of "I'm going to help from the outside" and instead focuses on working together, with a community, in which there is an equal amount of learning and sharing going back and forth across cultures. This allows for less focus on material/North-South exchange, but rather one of solidarity and cooperation together. We also hope that from the experience of a going on a SOL Work Group, people return and become more civically engaged in local and international communities.
We consider all of our work group participants and donors part of the Seeds of Learning Work Group Alumni family.
A letter indicating the amount paid to SOL in support of each volunteer will be sent to work group participants in late November of the year in which they participated in the progam. If anyone else also supported your trip, for all donations $200 and over we immediately mail them a gift acknowledgement letter. If you would like for us to send thank you letters to everyone who contributes towards your work group costs (including contributions less than $200), please let us know. The 2012 work group schedule is available here.
The base fee to participate in SOL's work group program is $1300 for a 10-day work group. This fee covers all expenses in-country (including food, transportation and accommodations) except for personal items, tourist cards and airport exit fees. It also includes a donation to support SOL's programs in the country visited. Group airfare costs may vary between $550 and $800. SOL will arrange all group travel and airfare.
We look forward to welcoming over 250 work group volunteers in 2012.
OPEN AND CLOSED WORK GROUPS
Seeds of Learning offers Open Work Groups and Closed Work Groups. Open Work Groups are open to anyone to apply, and are not directly primarily associated with any particular group or organization. To apply for an Open Work Group, applicants can complete the SOL Work Group Application online, email it, or mail it directly to Seeds of Learning (PO Box 2107 / Sonoma, CA 95476).
Closed Work Groups are composed entirely or almost entirely of members of a group/institution/organization such as a church, school, club, or any organization with a leader with whom Seeds of Learning works directly. Closed Work Groups often require signed contracts with Seeds of Learning, and usually have a separate or adapted Work Group Application and screening process in order for their leaders to determine which applicants are eligible to participate in the organization's Closed Work Group. Seeds of Learning does not do the initial screening and/or acceptance or rejection of applicants of Closed Work Groups until the Closed Work Group Leader recommends participants to Seeds of Learning. If you have any questions about this process, please email SOL's Program Director, Dan Plies, at firstname.lastname@example.org