VOLUNTEERING AT VOGASPAD

Post by vog on 17/07/2017 at 16h45min02s

VOLUNTEERING AT VOGASPAD


The “Volunteer Group for Agro-Silvo-Pastoral Development (VOGASPAD)” is a national NGO that operate Vocational Rural/Technical training and Resource centers in Bamenda (North West Anglophone region) and Bangang-Fondji (Western Francophone region) all oriented towards entrepreneurship skills development and focusing self-sufficiency.
All activities are coordinated from the head office in Bamenda but a branch office is now
operational in Bangang-Fondji village group, some 18 km from Bandjoun the head quarter of Koung-Khi Division in the Western Region. The Vocational Rural/Technical Training and Resource Center (VORTREC) Bamenda operates in rented premises with agreements signed with existing related organizations in the suborn for practicals while the Bangang-Fondji Center is located temporally in the village community hall and practicals carried out on our newly acquired farm land. We are still looking for funds to buy land for the Bamenda center and the construction of the administrative and training structures in Bangang-Fondji.
Participants for modular and students for initial training courses come from nearby communities in particular and the Western Highlands Region (WHLR) in general. They are invited to participate in our various training programs of their choices but cross over subjects include sustainable /organic agriculture, basic computer knowledge, community development, leadership and environmental education.
Upon graduation, each graduate goes back home to implement the new knowledge and skills acquired in an healthier, independent and sustainable self-sufficient manner, with a minimum follow up.

Who is a volunteer?
Generally as the name indicates, every person of both sexes, aged between 18 and 50, start work at VOGASPAD as a volunteer for a minimum of two (2) years and as such, only transport, lodging and feeding allowances are paid him for field works. He can later be recruited as members of the group, support staff or resources persons, part time or full time staff depending on his/her behavior and free will.
VOGASPAD intends to accept volunteers from all over the world with an increasing number as soon as all our building and sporting infrastructures shall have been completed.
Furthermore, Volunteer is any person who:
- Is interested in being part of the dynamic team and communities we serve? 

- Wants to learn more about and take part to what we do?
- Is not afraid of hard work and living simply?
If your answer is “Yes!” to any of these questions, then you may want to consider volunteering at VOGASPAD. You should be ready to take initiative, challenge yourself, and assume responsibility while at the same time exercising flexibility and self discipline.
    
VOGASPAD welcomes women and men between18 and 50 years of age, without any discrimination of race and faith. We only ask that you come with an open mind ready for new experiences and new challenges. We need your talents and thoughts, your skills and songs, your laughter and hard work.
Come and join us in our fight against poverty, marginalization and unsustainable management of human, natural resources and environment.   

LONG TERM VOLUNTEER
Long-Term Volunteers are those who come in for a period of 6 months to 2 years. They constitute an integral part of the group.  Examples here include the American Peace Corps Volunteer who will work with us for 2 consecutive years.
Our dedicated volunteers live simply and work humbly. Their hard work offers others a chance to grow as individuals and as valuable community members.
We ask that volunteers be ready for challenges, intellectually and physically demanding work, living within a heterogeneous milieu, serving in a purely supportive role, often putting the needs of others before themselves.
Despite all the hard work, volunteers also organize cultural and sporting events for entertainment as well as they build lasting friendships and have a large impact on our communities.
Presently, we have volunteers from the Republic of Cameroon and the United States of America. We are looking forward to receiving more from the world at large when our structures shall be completed.


Information to Volunteers
A volunteer term is from 1months up to 2 years. If you would like to come for a shorter period please apply as a Working Visitor. Details can be found on the website www.vogaspad.org.
While the training program runs from some weeks to 2 years, Volunteers are needed throughout the year but the duration of our training program depends on the component chosen (modular or initial) and the conditions attached to each module (eg: individual timetable of the trainee, availability of the resource persons, etc).
A volunteer need to have enough experiences and/or specific skills in the rural world and, should be ready to move and work in rural areas and welcome new challenges, such as living and working simply within a vast diversity of people and cultures. Volunteers should be ready to humbly contribute to our working programs in a supportive role.

As a non-profit, non-political, non-religious development NGO, VOGASPAD accepts any volunteer person from Cameroon, Africa and other parts of the world but the main languages of communication are English, and French. We welcome volunteers between 18 and 50 years, provided your health allows you to fully participate in our daily schedule.
For more information, please visit our website! www.vogaspad.org.

Any person who want to work and live together with people from different countries, please, feel free to come and have a nice time with us as a volunteer?
“We need your talents, skills, songs, thoughts, laughter, and hard work. So please come and join us in our pursuit to build an environmentally healthy, just and peaceful world”. (ARI’s brochure)
Volunteers are an integral part of our community, growing and working alongside our participants, students and staff. For the moment, our younger age and limited resources do not permit us to receive more than 3 volunteers at a time. Without any form of discrimination, they live, learn and work together to sustain life.
VOGASPAD also welcome both men and women from around the world who come in as visitors for few hours to 3 days as students or participants and researchers on conference, seminars / workshops. Our Bangang-Fondji center and its local environment also provide a very highly conducive landscape for tourists and individual persons of good faith on retreat or rest provided some arrangements are made earlier before with a real picture of the purpose of the sojourn.


a)    Volunteer’s Work and Assignments
During your stay at any of our branches or centers, you will be assigned to one or more sections, such as livestock, cops and vegetables, education and training, food processing and marketing, maintenance or office work, project elaboration and implementation, administration, website management, etc. In addition, everyone may be called to contribute and/or participate to resources mobilization which is our core problem.
Volunteers may request to work in certain areas based on his/her field of experiences and qualifications. However, he/she may change working sections from time to time, but will be assigned to a job that fulfills the current needs of the group and best supports the working program. Work assignments are often determined by previous experience or skills of the volunteer, but people of all works of life are welcomed.
 

Livestock
Livestock volunteers will help care for all animals like Pig, Poultry, Honey, Rabbitery, Fish sections, etc. these animals are reared for meat and additionally produces biogas. Livestock volunteers help in both caretaking of the animals and preparing some for market.

Crops and Vegetables
Volunteers in Crops and Vegetables spend their day on the farm and help produce all vegetables of which parts are consumed by all those working and living in the campus at the time. These include both field and office staff, volunteers and boarding students for, there is no classic restaurant from where people can help themselves. We also sell vegetables and crops in our shops and in local markets.

Meal Service
Our intention is to be able to produce at least 90% of the food that is consumed in our centers. Meal service workers help prepare healthy and simple meals for up to 60 people or more a day. Every menu includes a wide variety of tastes and the meal service staff has learnt different cooking techniques, by preparing food with advices and techniques from people of all over the world. Those living outside the campus are not given food or if so, against a token but they must indicate earlier enough to ease programming.

Food Processing
The objective here is to add value and there by improve income generation. Food Processing volunteers help prepare foods for sale from raw materials and ingredients harvested from our farm. This section not only generates a small income but also allows us to share our vision of sustainable and organic agriculture with many people. The type of food products will vary depending on the availability of the raw materials and ingredients, the processing equipment, the local market demand and the season of the year.

Office Work
As specific technicians, volunteers working in the office are assigned according to their specific sections but some additional tasks may be shared out based on the extreme needs of the organization. These sections include the administration and library, curriculum development and teaching, networking, NTIC.
We are constantly in need of people with other additional talents in resources mobilization, computer systems, musical ability for entertainment, medical knowledge for first aid, desktop publishing (Illustrator) and website management.
Through your work with us, you will gain enough experiences for yourself and join our team and community in living and sharing our life style in a healthy and conducive environment.

b)    Daily Schedule at VOGASPAD

Morning periods

Activities

 

Afternoon periods 

Activités

  Mondays to Friday

7:30  – 8:00  

Breakfast

 

12:30  – 13:30

Lunch

8:00  – 12:30

individual or group's activities

 

13:30   - 16:30

Individual or group's activities

 

 

 

6:00  – 7:30

 Souper

 Saturdays and Sundays

7:30  – 8:00

 Breakfast

 

12:30  – 13:30

 Lunch

8:00 – 12:30

Free or Field visit

 

13:30  - 16:30

 Free or Field visit

 

 

 

6:00  – 7:30

 Souper

   
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

c)    Expenses
- Lodging/accommodation:
VOGASPAD for now does not have lodging facilities but it is possible that in the long run when we shall have constructed our own structures, we provide a double occupancy or single rooms for you at no charge. On the other hand, we do not have funds to provide food (breakfasts, lunch or super) to our volunteers but as the time goes by, we may provide 1 or 2 meals per day, depending on the numbers of volunteers present, the duration of volunteering and the resources available at the time.
VOGASPAD will provide accommodation to foreign and distant volunteers free of charge. Those living around the campus in their respective house shall on no occasion be lodged. Housing for married couples or those with children may be available on request and based on the case by case study if such accommodations are available. We ask that volunteers spend their early months living on campus, but if you would prefer an off-campus housing arrangement, we will assist you in finding something suitable that fits your budget.
In addition to volunteer lodge, there will be students’ halls in the campus that help in facilitating integration, familiarization and providing social and equitable life sharing among all trainees.

- Feeding:
VOGASPAD cannot afford for free meal for a long period, thus we advise that volunteer help us to help them by negotiating and/or arranging for support from any donor.
However, there may be some local fast food and sandwich in few local dining houses at a stone through from our offices or centers where 3 meals may cost at most CFA f 5.000 (US $12) per day.
If you are not financially capable of covering the meal fees you may apply for a fee waiver or negotiate with a sponsoring body that can bear the cost. Volunteers are expected to cover all additional fees.

- Local transport
Each volunteer will arrange for his/her own local transportation for VOGASPAD at the moment does not have any means of transportation. Nevertheless, movements from our Bangang-Fondji center to the nearest towns of Bandjoun (18 km) and Bafoussam (30 km) are facilitated by small cars against CFA F1.000 and CFA F2.000 respectively, to and fro.
We advise that long term volunteer buy a bicycle or motor cycle for easy movement within the division.

d)    How to apply
Please contact us for a volunteer application form at www.vogaspad.org. You will need to provide a completed application form and the documents listed below.  

Documents needed to apply:
- Complete application form
- Letter of sponsorship covering air ticket for a round trip, insurance, feeding, local transport, etc.
- Recommendation letter with a pledge to return home straight away to work together with the sending person, group, community or institution.
- Health certificate
- 4 Passport sized photograph
VOGASPAD does not provide nor facilitate visa procedure for volunteers and you will be required to obtain an appropriate visa on your own. To that end, we recommend that foreign volunteers seeking to serve for an extended period travel to Cameroon with the support of sponsoring organization of their choice. This will ensures that you have sufficient support during your stay at our center.
Volunteer Application form

Hands-on Training
Field Management Activity (FMA)
In this section, participants are given the chance to practice what they have learned from classroom lectures and discussions. Thus, it is an opportunity for them to manage the sections where they were assigned as future responsible persons.
In each section of work, staff, volunteers and participants are assigned according to their individual specialties and chosen modules respectively. They put hands-on activities as managers to acquire more knowledge and skills that will serve them upon graduation.
This is done once a week for a full day and the week to come, presentations are done for staff and volunteer while participants present theirs in group as practical lecture, workshop, discussion or sharing on leadership and farming skills.

Participants then have more opportunities to use training in the following areas:
- Integrated organic agricultural techniques
- Farm planning and management
- Leadership
- Utilization of local resources
- Group dynamics and participatory decision making
- Sharing indigenous knowledge

Practical Field Study (PFS)
PFS sessions are set up to give both theoretical and hands-on knowledge of organic farming, animal rearing, and food processing techniques.

PFS Classes
- Quick compost making using “Bokashi”
- Ordinary compost making
- Integrated pest management
- Seed collection and nursery management
- Disease prevention in livestock
- Livestock feed mixing or compounding
- Meat and fish processing

Optional Seasonal Topics
- Chicken brooding
- Fish spawning
- Pigs: artificial insemination, delivery, castration

Optional Topics
- Biogas system
- Soap making
- Food preservation (bottling)

Community Work
VOGASPAD has a pool of support staff recruited specifically to do hygiene and sanitation in the campus, farming and kitchen activities, but experience has shown that some volunteers will also like to participate in some community work as leisure, game and/or sporting exercises.
Thus, community work is when some members of the community at time voluntarily decide to come together to work towards a single goal for the good of VOGASPAD. It holds once a month and on the last Saturday in the morning period for 4 hour. It is a celebration of community and what can be accomplished through group cooperation. This community work include:
- Weeding and drainage cleaning
- Crops harvesting and storage
- Silage making
- Maintenance and cleaning in animal pens, food paths, etc.
- Others

Classroom Lectures
Curricula have been designed for both modular/tailor made courses and the initial training components. Candidates deliberately choose their individual or group modules when filling out the application and registration forms. However, topics or lessons like basic knowledge on computer sciences, group dynamics, community development, English and French are usually proposed as optional at the end of each module meanwhile they are compulsory to students of the initial training program.
When deemed necessary, resource persons and/or guest lecturers can be invited to support our training team and most importantly to provide as many study topics as possible and to show different viewpoints on issues that are important to the farming community.

Leadership
In leadership class, participants identify and learn about different patterns of leadership and their role as they are related to rural community improvement activities. Also the classroom exercises will reveal patterns of leadership that might develop during the course of the leaders’ training activities.
Topics covered are:

I. Spirit of Rural Leaders
- Leadership
- History, Foundation and Mission
- Servant Leadership
- Leadership of Mr.

II. Techniques of Leadership
- Participatory Learning and Action
- Appreciative Inquiry
- Presentation skills
- Facilitation skills
- Report Writing
- Independent Learning
- Nonviolent Communication
- Time Management

Development Issues
In this class, we will work together to identify and understand in depth the basic issues our world is facing today. We will focus on major development issues which exist in the world and look at how they are closely related to changes in our communities. Through discussions and reading assignments, participants will sharpen their critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Topics covered are:
- Contemporary Issues
- Impact of Globalization
- Localization
- Environment and Development
- Nutrition
- Gender Issues
- Peace Issues
- Micro Credit

Sustainable and Organic Agriculture
In this class, we will focus on important concepts and strategies of sustainable agriculture which are different from those of conventional agriculture. We will focus especially on the strategies of diversity and self-reliance in agriculture production, maximum utilization of local resources and protection of the natural environment.

Topics covered are:
- Concept of Sustainable Agriculture
- Crops and Vegetables
- Livestock
- Feed Management
- Dangers of Chemical Farming
- Natural Farming in Tropical Areas
- Permaculture
- Agro-forestry
- Agricultural Cooperative
- Alternative Marketing System


Practical field study and Observation Trips
At VOGASPAD, 80% of education and training activities take place on the campus using classrooms, demo plots, conference halls, and production farm. The rest of time is allocated to practical field visits that take trainees, students and volunteers to referent farmers, elite farmers, industrial plantations, important farm families as well as research institutes. These sites are selected and proposed by the group to participants based on the resources available and the agreement that exist between VOGASPAD and the proposed potential sites.
This activity is based on the principle that Theory without practical is empty; Practical without theory is blind (Kwame Nkruma).
These trips enable participants to get acquainted with the rural world, discuss, work and live with and share information and experiences with individuals, groups, institutions and local communities about topics relevant to their various aspirations.

Potential sites to visit include:
- Organic farms and farming associations
- Consumer co-operatives
- Agro-pastoral co-operatives,
- Agro-industrial enterprises
- Food processing units
- Agricultural and livestock research institutions
- Government agro-pastoral programs and projects
- Environmental education and gender issues
- Eco-tourism (Sacred forests, palaces, water falls, museums, sanctuaries, etc)


These trips last between 4 hours to a maximum of 3 days for trainees and volunteers while it can take 3 weeks to 6 months for students. Such trips may include a farm stay, observation trip, discussion, project evaluation and auditing, all ending with a written report.
It should be noted that VOGASPAD and its training and education centers will only support these trips but will on no occasion take full responsibility of such trips. Participants will always search for funding to carry out these trips.

For volunteer application form, please, click here

APPLICATION FORM FOR VOLUNTEERS

1-Personal Identification / identification personnelle

Full name / Nom au complet

 

Observations

 

 

Sexe/sex: 

 

 

Date and place of birth :

 

 

Postal address / Adresse postale

 

 

Tel:

 

 

Email:

 

 

2-Language proficiency (our working langauges are English and French)

English

Written / écrite?

Spoken / parlée?

French

Written / écrite?

Spoken / parlée?

Nationality / Nationnalité

 

 

Country of residence/ pays résidence

 

 

Duration of voluntary work/duree

 

 

Do you have special needs / avez-vous des besoins spéciaux en :

 

 

Health status / Etat de santé ?

 

 

Lodging / logement?

 

 

Feeding / Nutrition?

 

 

Marital status / Etat civil

Married? Yes                  No

Widow?

If married, full name of spouse

 

 

Would you travel with your spouse?

Yes                                     No 

Children not accepted

 

 

 

2-Contact person in case of emergency / personne à contacter en cas d’urgence

Full name / Nom au complet

 

 

Sexe/sex: 

 

 

Relation with applicant / parentée avec le volontaire

 

 

Postal Address / Addresse Postale

 

 

Tel:

 

 

Email:

 

 

Nationality / Nationnalité

 

 

Country of residence/ pays residence

 

 

3-Field (s) of specialization / domaine (s) de specialization (Please, attach copy of diploma (s) / certificate(s)

Agriculture/agroforestry

 

 

Soil sciences/science du sol

 

 

Animal production / production animale

 

 

Environ education / Educ Envir

 

 

Education and training /Enseign/formation

 

 

Others to specify / autres à spécifier

 

 

4- Field of interest / domains d’interêt du voluntaries (choose 3 in order of priority / choisissez 3 par ordre de priorité )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would you be living in our center/ aimeriez-vous loger au centre?

 

 

If not where/ si non où?

 

 

Would you feed at our center/souhaitez-vous vous nourir au centre?

 

For now, feeding facilities are not available

 

 

 

Do you have any mean of transport / avez-vous un moyen de transport personnel?

 

 

Your insurance policy (Names & References of the company) Votre police d’assurance (nom de contact)?

 

Names & contact of your sponsor/ contact de votre sponsor

 

 

Address / Adresse

 

 

Date of departure/date de retour?

 

 

Others / Autres à spécifier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Reoccurring illnesses/disorders / Maladies ou désordres récurrents _______________________________________________________________________
Allergies / Allergies ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Any medication (indicate purpose as well) / avez-vous des médicaments spéciaux? (Indiquez leurs usages) _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Any vitamin deficiency that needs treatment / avez-vous une déficience vitaminique à traiter? ____________________________________________________
Any evidence of fatigue, depression, etc/Avez-vous une fatigue ou dépression évidente? ________________________________________________________
Any disabilities / Avez-vous un handicap? _____________________________________________________________________________________________
Any communicable disease /Avez-vous une maladie contagieuse? _________________________________________________________________________
Any non-communicable disease /Avez-vous une maladie non-contagieuse? __________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

(The participant will be expected to be able to do three to four hours of manual labor each day on the farm.) / le participant est appelé à faire trois (3) a quatre (4) heures de travaux manuels par jour)
Foods usually eaten by the Applicant / Repas habituels du participant? _____________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Foods avoided by the Applicant/Repas à éviter par le participant? __________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Special diet needed for physical reasons /ration spéciale pour des raisons physiques __________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Special diet needed for religious reasons/ ration spéciale pour des raisons religieuses? ________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Special diet needed for other reasons / Autres raisons? __________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Good health is essential for involvement in all aspects of our program, including regular daily work on the farm/ Une bonne santé est essentielle pour toutes les activités de nos programmes.

Summary of present health condition / Résumé sur la santé_______________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Based on this information, would you still like to come to Cameroon?       Yes ___________________  No________________
Au regard de ces informations, voudrez-vous quand même venir au Cameroun?

Additional comments / Autres commentaires ? _________________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    

Declaration of Honour

This declaration needs to be duly filled in and signed by the proposed volunteer as a separate page and sent to us earlier before finalization of visa procedure.

 I, undersigned……………………………………………, certify that the information contained in this application is correct to the best of my knowledge.
    
I agree that in case of admission to VOGASPAD, all data provided in this form may be used for managing VOGASPAD as far as the right for privacy is respected.

Name of the proposed Volunteer ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Place and Date: _____________________________________     signature _________________________________________________________________

Flash Info


Réalisé par Univers Binaire
© VOGASPAD 2016 - 2017