Brethren Volunteer Service
- The goal of the project placement process is to find the best match between a volunteer’s strengths and skills, and a projects needs and requirements. Not all projects listed in the project book are available at the time your orientation.
- Most placement are determined during, not prior to, orientation. Exceptions to this general rule are considered by the director of BVS.
- BVS staff should be the contact point for incoming volunteers and their interest in projects. If there is interest in a specific project, the volunteer should be in touch with BVS staff about possibly getting in touch with past BVSers or project site staff. Volunteers should not directly contact projects ahead of orientation.
- International assignments may be arranged prior to orientation. These placements may take longer to confirm and participation in orientation is the final stage in the placement process.
Applicants interested in international assignments should be in phone contact with the BVS staff. (See FAQs, section “I want to serve outside the United States) International assignments are available for U.S. and Canadian citizens only.
- During orientation, project files with background materials are available to assist with selecting placements. Volunteers have the responsibility of considering their skills, interests, and goals and identifying several project preferences.
- The volunteers meet with BVS staff during orientation to discuss their project choices. The director of BVS, along with the orientation staff, will talk with volunteers to determine whether their qualifications match the needs of the project.
- Volunteers serving outside the U.S. must be at least 21 years old and be a college graduate (Bachelor’s degree) or have equivalent life experience. Staff responsible for international placements will interview the volunteer. Almost all placements in Latin America require fluency in Spanish and experience in Latin America issues.
- The volunteer’s project choices must initially be approved by the director of BVS. If, during orientation, it is determined that a volunteer lacks the necessary qualifications for service, the BVS staff reserves the right to cancel an assignment. This rarely happens.
- Following the interviews, the director of BVS or staff representative for international placements contacts the project directors to recommend volunteers for service. Project directors give final approval for assignments. The volunteer’s application (without essay questions) may be shared with the project director. In some cases the whole application is shared with the project.
- In most cases volunteers are expected to begin their assignment immediately following orientation. This expectation does not hold for participants in the older adult unit.
- Some assignments, particularly international assignments, may require a waiting period between orientation and placement. Interim assignments may be arranged for persons waiting for these assignments. Patience is encouraged.
- The BVS placement process requires flexibility, communication, and trust. Project assignments are made with the input and consent of the BVS staff, the project director, and the volunteer. The final choice is mutual.